Mexican Pumpkin Soup and Garlicky Greens

by on January 17, 2006
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Mexican Pumpkin Soup

It’s amazing how sometimes the best vegan recipes are adaptations of meat-laden ones. Last night’s meal is a perfect example. I finally cooked the little pie pumpkin that has been on my counter since November, but then I had no idea what to do with it. I went looking for a soup recipe, but all of them were these creamy, pureed concoctions, and I wanted something chunky and hearty and which used pinto beans. Yes, sometimes I get a taste in mind and get quite picky.

Finally I found a recipe similar to what I wanted…except it used chorizo and heavy cream. That recipe is here, for all you fans of chorizo and cream. For those of you who don’t want all the animal products, I give you my delicious, healthy version.

Mexican Pumpkin Soup and Garlicky Greens
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 4
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups pureed cooked pumpkin or 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 16-ounce can chili beans or pinto beans
  • 1 tbsp. seeded diced jalapeño
  • 5 medium red potatoes, diced into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoons oregano
  • pinch of cayenne or other red pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened soy milk or other non-dairy milk
  • salt, to taste
  • cilantro or parsley
  1. Heat a large pot. Sauté most of the onions (reserve a few for garnish) over medium heat until they soften; add garlic and cook for about 1 minute. Add in the broth, pumpkin, chili beans, jalapeño, and potatoes. Stir in the oregano, cayenne, and cumin. Bring to a boil and then turn down to a simmer.
  2. Simmer for about 30 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Remove from heat and let cool for 5 minutes. Stir in the soy milk, add salt to taste, and serve immediately garnished with cilantro or parsley and onion (and extra diced jalapeño, if desired).
I wanted to use plain pinto beans in this, but I was all out. If you use pinto beans instead of the chili beans, increase the seasonings and add some chili powder.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1/4 of recipe Calories: 297 Fat: 2g Carbohydrates: 61.5g Sugar: 5.8g Sodium: 793.2mg Fiber: 12.5g Protein: 12.4g

This was wonderful! Even daughter E. was asking for seconds almost before she’d finished the first bowl. The pumpkin makes a lovely, rich orange broth. This is a very mild, delicately-flavored dish, not spicy at all, so if you like more heat, increase the seasonings.

Along with this I served Garlicky Greens, and I have to say that they were less well received. I used rainbow chard, which was beautiful, but the amount of lemon in this recipe is just too much. I didn’t mind so much, but my daughter couldn’t finish hers because it was “too sour”; husband D. ate his but agreed that there was too much lemon. Next time, I’ll just use a squeeze.

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{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

1 IrishCherokiiMslm November 18, 2009 at 3:35 pm

Hi, I just made the pumpkin soup last night-Im not veggie but I hate pork,N-E way didnt have any veg broth so I used turkey broth afraid it would ruin it, but it didnt!also added a little fresh grated ginger,one clove and black pepper, and no milk either, I think the black pepper really gave a new dimension to it, I LOVE this recipe!!


2 rivercrow November 20, 2009 at 5:50 pm

Your efforts at delicious vegan cuisine are to be applauded. Keep up the good work!
re: "Mexican" Pumpkin Soup reads pretty tasty. However, be aware that simply adding chili beans and/or jalapenos does not Mexican make! May I refer you to ALL of Diana Kannedy's books on Mexican cooking. You will find a few vegan recpies, and more other recepies that can be adapted.
Buen provecho! Rivercrowin LA


3 F.M.Mossman September 28, 2010 at 8:11 pm

I didn’t have all the ingredients but couldn’t resist. I substituted sweet potatoes for the pumpkin- fresh just boiled them and mashed them up, and used plain old russet potatoes instead of red….It was awesome..can’t wait when I can try the true blue recipe!!! Very excited about fall with all these great soups.


4 Mia October 4, 2010 at 11:48 am

I just froze 16 cups of pumpkin puree yesterday. Some will become more pumpkin butter since I like it so much. But I will be using some to make this soup. I don’t do totally fat free but I have to do dairy free so this is perfect for me.


5 Lea October 11, 2010 at 10:03 am

Delicious! I made this last night and it turned out wonderful. Very rich and hearty – did not leave me hungry at all. I added some kale b/c I try to get my greens in wherever I can, but otherwise followed the recipe. Thank you sooo much for your excellent website- love it!


6 Carrie October 13, 2010 at 7:56 pm

I just have to say I made this about a year ago and thought it was fairly good. I made it again today, but added a can of diced fiery tomatoes (the kind with the jalepenos) and use a little less broth. This version went from being fairly good to DELICIOUS! Thank you so much for the recipe!


7 Angie November 3, 2010 at 6:32 am

This was the best soup/stew we’ve had in weeks! And it has gotten better every time it was reheated. The only thing I missed out was the soy milk. This is definitely a keeper at our house!


8 Sarah November 3, 2010 at 9:13 pm

Loved the recipe! Great way to make a thick soup like chili without the tomatoes to stay local with eating style in the winter time!! DELICIOUS! I would like to say that I added a bit of lemon juice to mine and it was exactly what the soup needed to make it pop. Thanks for the recipe!!


9 Nikki November 12, 2010 at 8:45 pm

This recipe looks great! I’m thinking about making this for a fundraising event and am wondering how many servings this recipe provides. Thank you!


10 SusanV November 12, 2010 at 8:51 pm

I would count it as 4 servings to be on the safe side, but you could probably stretch it to 6. Hope your fundraiser goes well!


11 Sybil November 26, 2010 at 11:09 am

You can use soyrizo in place of chorizo. It tastes really good and has no meat. Uses soy protein instead.


12 SusanV November 26, 2010 at 11:12 am

Just want to point out that soyrizo is incredibly high in fat. Wouldn’t want someone to go looking for it without knowing that!


13 Michelle B October 25, 2011 at 11:11 am

Hi Susan. Thanks for the great recipes. I just started to make a serious effort at eating vegan in the past 2 months – your blog has been such an inspiration!

I have a general question about recipes where soy milk is added at the end to give a dish creaminess. I’m having a problem where the soy milk curdles when I add it to the dish. Not big curdles exactly, but the soy seems to be condensing/preciptating into tiny white flecks. It doesn’t affect the taste of the food at all, it just doesn’t look nice. It happened with this recipe, as well as a with a mushroom stroganoff.

Any ideas what I can do differently so this doesn’t happen?


14 Annie J November 10, 2011 at 9:48 am

Try rice milk? I never use soy milk, just rice milk, and don’t have this problem. HTH!


15 Jenn November 11, 2011 at 11:45 pm

I am really loving this blog! I am not vegan, but prefer to eat healthy. This recipe turned out great- thanks for doing the experimentation!


16 KBeane November 14, 2011 at 9:16 pm

I made this tonight and my husband and I were both pleased. I had 1/2 a pumpkin to use, and this was a great recipe to sneak it in there. I did add a little oil when sauteeing, but I’m sure it wasn’t really necessary. The potatoes and beans made the soup very hearty. Thanks for the great recipe!


17 Fiona March 21, 2012 at 11:59 pm

This was really yummy! I changed it a little though. I used a whole can of pumpkin and left out the soy milk. I also added broccoli and carrot and used only 4 potatoes. Next time I would only use two or three potatoes, use 2 cans of beans instead of one, and add more veggies. Very easy and yummy!


18 Brittney August 24, 2012 at 10:01 pm

I LOVE this recipe. I’ve modified it to just dump in 16 oz of Trader Joe’s mixed greens into the pot. I use 8 cups of vegetable brother, 2 tsp cumin, 1 1/2 tbsp oregano; 1 tsp chili powder. When I’m in the mood to splurge, I do brown in a cast iron skillet Trader Joe’s soy chirizo, since I know it is high in fat.


19 suzi September 18, 2013 at 12:02 pm

i am so happy to discover you!! YUM! i made this soup last nite, and had some japanese garnets already baked, so i threw them chopped, into the soup towards the end. i love sweet potato and beans together… i also used leftover coconut milk i had to get rid of , as substitute for the soymilk. this was delicious!! i also used on whole jalapeno so it is nice and spicy, the way we like it. cant wait to try and share more of your great work!! thanks so much : )


20 Esther J October 31, 2013 at 6:57 pm

This was so very good tonight. I roasted a pumpkin (my first) earlier in the week and this was one of the recipes on my list to prepare with it.

I followed the recipe as is, except I added turnip greens to add a green to the mix (and, as any good Southerner knows, pinto beans and turnips greens are a good pair together).

Very yummy! (too bad the weather’s warmer than I’d prefer.)


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