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Easy slow cooker pumpkin soup is creamy, comforting, cozy, uses fresh or canned pumpkin, and is perfectly spiced to keep you warm all fall/winter! + It’s gluten-free, dairy-free, whole30, vegan, & freezes well!

completed Slow Cooker Pumpkin Soup on a white surface
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Cozy, Comforting, Velvety Smooth Crockpot Pumpkin Soup

Sniffle season is upon us, and it’s the perfect time to pull out your crockpot to make low-fuss, easy, super comforting meals like curried lentils, pumpkin chili, and this slow cooker pumpkin soup. With just 15 minutes of prep (no pre-roasting necessary), throw everything into a slow cooker, press a button, and leave it to do its thing (and make your kitchen smell amazing!). What’s not to love?

For this slow cooker pumpkin soup recipe, we’re using simple, inexpensive pantry ingredients like garlic, onion, tomato paste, warm spices, and tofu (soy-free alternatives available) blended until smooth for a cozy, comforting soup that really highlights the earthy, sweetness of pumpkin, and is perfect for fall/winter.

It’s also easily adaptable, with dozens of ways to make the recipe your own (keep reading!). Best of all, it’s super nutritional, too, and a great immune-booster, with plenty of antioxidants, vitamins A and C, potassium, iron, copper, and more – perfect for chilly fall evenings, dinner parties, and Thanksgiving.

The Ingredients and Substitutes

ingredients for Slow Cooker Pumpkin Soup on a white surface
  • Pumpkin: The best pumpkin for soup is sugar pumpkins or other culinary pumpkins instead of carving pumpkins (which are technically edible but not tasty). If not, butternut squash, kabocha, or delicata squash work, too.
  • Olive oil: Or another neutral cooking oil, like avocado oil.
  • Aromatics: Combining fresh garlic cloves and onion makes for a more complex, flavorful base. Use onion and garlic powders in a pinch.
  • Vegetable broth: Use a high-quality, rich vegetable broth (regular or reduced-sodium) – liquid or bouillon + water.
  • Seasonings: Highlight the earthy, sweet, savory pumpkin flavor with:
    • Paprika (regular or smoked)
    • Cinnamon (and optionally a pinch of nutmeg)
    • Thyme (dried or 3x fresh. Sage would work, too)
    • Sea salt (or soy sauce for more umami-rich saltiness)
    • Black pepper
  • Tomato paste: Adds a subtle tangy richness to the pumpkin crockpot soup.
  • Tofu: We use tofu to add a ‘creamy’ element to vegan pumpkin soup with the bonus of being low fat and high-protein.  

If you can’t eat soy, try full-fat canned coconut milk, cashew cream, or an alternative dairy-free cream.

  • Garnish: (Optional) fresh parsley and red pepper flakes.

What Could I add to Pumpkin Soup?

Make this slow cooker pumpkin soup recipe your own with any of the below add-ins and customizations.

  • Sweet potato: The sweetness complements pumpkin wonderfully and adds extra flavor depth and body. Regular potato, carrot, or parsnip work too.
  • Apple/pear: 1-2 chopped apples/pears add a tangy sweetness.
  • Lemon/lime juice: A little before serving brightens the pumpkin slow cooker soup for a wonderful flavor.
  • Cumin: Ground cumin (start with a teaspoon) complements earthy pumpkin.
  • Turmeric: Just a little for subtle flavor and its many health advantages (i.e., anti-inflammation, heart health, improved antioxidant capacity in the body, etc.). Always pair it with black pepper to best absorb it.
  • Nutritional yeast: For a subtle yet slightly nutty, ‘cheesy’ flavor depth.
  • Maple syrup: (or brown sugar) To balance the soup flavors and subtly enhance the sweetness of the pumpkin.
  • Ginger: This highly beneficial, immune-boosting ingredient complements pumpkin flavor wonderfully and adds zingy heat.
  • For spice: Add some chili powder or cayenne powder.
  • Curry: Curry paste/curry powder complements earthy pumpkin wonderfully. Add a tablespoon, then adjust to taste (and remove thyme).

How to Make Pumpkin Soup In A Slow Cooker

Keep scrolling to the recipe card for the complete list of ingredients and recipe instructions.

  • First, peel and roughly chop the onion and crush the garlic cloves. Then, peel and chop the pumpkin into 1-inch pieces.

To prepare the pumpkin, chop it in half, scoop out the seeds with a spoon, slice it into 1-inch strips, then cut those into smaller pieces. We also save the pumpkin seeds to season and roast as a snack (or soup topper).

  • If your slow cooker has a sauté function, use that – otherwise, heat a large skillet with the oil. Once hot, add the garlic, and sauté until it turns golden brown, then add the onions and cook for 4-5 minutes or until they become tender and translucent.
  • Add the pumpkin and all the seasonings, mix well, and sauté for 30 seconds, stirring continuously.

For the best flavor, add the pumpkin and sauté until some edges are lightly browned, then add the seasonings. This adds a sweeter, more caramelized flavor.

  • Add vegetable broth, tomato paste, and tofu and stir. Cover it with a lid and cook on HIGH for 3-4 hours or LOW for 7-8 hours until the pumpkin is tender.
  • Carefully remove the lid and leave it to cool for 10 minutes before blending it until smooth, either with an immersion blender in the crockpot or in a blender.

If you use a regular blender, use a ladle to carefully transfer it to the jug, and don’t overfill it (work in batches is necessary). Hold the lid to the jug with a kitchen towel, pausing the machine to lift it and allow steam to escape (otherwise, it can cause the lid to pop off and send scalding soup everywhere).

  • Finally, taste and adjust any seasonings in the slow cooker pumpkin soup, then serve it optionally garnished with parsley and red pepper flakes. Enjoy!

FAQs

Can I use canned pumpkin puree?

Absolutely, and it will even make the soup faster as you don’t have to wait for the pumpkin to become tender. For the best results, add the pumpkin puree in step 3 and allow it to simmer for several minutes to cook off any ‘canned’ flavor and slightly reduce the pulp for enhanced flavor (if you have time, 8-10 minutes is best).

How to replace fresh pumpkin with canned?

The easiest way to make the swap is to use the same amount in weight. I.e., in this case, this recipe calls for 2 lbs (so 32 oz) of pumpkin flesh.

Can I make this recipe oil-free?

When sauteing, replace the oil with about ¼ cup of extra vegetable broth.

Recipe Notes and Tips

  • Sauté the aromatics/veg: This creates the most full-bodied flavor depth, especially if you brown/caramelize them. However, if you’re running low on time or effort, just throw everything in the slow cooker and cook.
  • To adjust the thickness: Change how much liquid you add to the soup. If you like it thick, set aside some broth before blending the soup, then optionally add it back in incrementally, to your desired consistency.
  • To save prep time: Use pre-chopped pumpkin and/or pre-prepared ingredients like chopped onion, minced garlic, etc.
  • Be careful when blending: Hot soup causes steam to build up inside a blender, and blow the lid off the top if you aren’t careful. Hold the lid with a kitchen towel and lift it often (while not blending) to release steam.
  • To keep the soup warm: Keep the pumpkin soup in the slow cooker and use the ‘keep warm’ function. This is great for dinner parties or when people will eat at different times.
completed Slow Cooker Pumpkin Soup on a white surface

Creamy Pumpkin Soup Toppings

  • Fresh herbs (we used fresh parsley, but thyme, chives, or green onion work)
  • Crispy shallots
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Lemon or lime wedges
  • Cracked black pepper
  • Croutons, crispy chickpeas, or toasted/ roasted pumpkin seeds
  • Coconut bacon
  • Pomegranate
  • Kale chips
  • A swirl of vegan yogurt or coconut cream
  • Vegan parmesan cheese

Serving Recommendations

This thick and hearty vegan slow cooker pumpkin soup can be enjoyed as a main or side with:

Storage Instructions

Leave the crockpot pumpkin soup to cool, then store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 4-5 days.

Alternatively, freeze it in freezer-safe bags (spread it flat and squeeze out air)/ containers and freeze for up to 3 months. Leave it to thaw in the fridge overnight before reheating.

Reheat the soup on the stovetop (over medium-low heat) or in a microwave (1-2 minutes). Add an extra splash of water or stock if preferred.

completed Slow Cooker Pumpkin Soup in a storage container

More Cozy Vegan Soup Recipes

You might also enjoy browsing this collection of 18 cozy vegan soup recipes!

Photos by Alfonso Revilla

Slow Cooker Pumpkin Soup

5 from 4 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 3 hours 35 minutes
Cool: 10 minutes
Total: 3 hours 55 minutes
Servings: 4 to 6
Easy slow cooker pumpkin soup is creamy, comforting, cozy, uses fresh or canned pumpkin, and is perfectly spiced to keep you warm all fall/winter! + It’s gluten-free, dairy-free, whole30, vegan, & freezes well!

Ingredients 

  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 6 garlic cloves, halved and lightly crushed
  • 1 yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 3 cups of rich vegetable broth
  • 2 pounds of pumpkin, peeled, seeds removed, and cubed
  • ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika
  • 2 teaspoons of dry or fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon of black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato paste
  • 1 (14-ounce) firm tofu, cubed
  • Parsley, chopped for garnish (optional)
  • Crushed red pepper flakes, for garnish (optional)

Instructions 

  • Turn your instant pot or slow cooker on to saute the garlic and onions.
  • When hot, add the oil and garlic. When the garlic starts to lightly turn golden brown, add the onions. Mix well and cook until the onions become translucent and tender.
  • To the onion garlic mixture, add the pumpkin, cinnamon, paprika, thyme, salt, and pepper. Mix well and cook for 30 seconds continuously mixing.
  • Mix in the vegetable broth mixture, tomato paste, and tofu.
  • Cover with the lid and slow cook on high for 3 hours and 30 minutes.
  • When ready, carefully remove the lid and allow it to cool for 10 minutes. Using a ladle, transfer the soup into a blender pitcher and blend until completely smooth. You may need to work in batches if your blender pitcher is smaller. Alternatively, if you have an immersion blender, blend for 5 minutes until completely smooth like in the photo.
  • When ready, serve hot or chilled. Top with parsley and red pepper flakes if using.

Notes

We saute the vegetables for the depth of flavor, but if you’re in a hurry, you can also add all the ingredients to the slow cooker and then cook. 
  • To adjust the thickness: Change how much liquid you add to the soup. If you like it thick, set aside some broth before blending the soup, then optionally add it back in incrementally, to your desired consistency.
  • To save prep time: Use pre-chopped pumpkin and/or pre-prepared ingredients like chopped onion, minced garlic, etc.
  • Be careful when blending: Hot soup causes steam to build up inside a blender, and blow the lid off the top if you aren’t careful. Hold the lid with a kitchen towel and lift it often (while not blending) to release steam.

Nutrition

Calories: 256kcalCarbohydrates: 29gProtein: 12gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gSodium: 1337mgPotassium: 594mgFiber: 9gSugar: 11gVitamin A: 36121IUVitamin C: 17mgCalcium: 208mgIron: 5mg

Disclaimer: Although plantbasedonabudget.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, kindly note that these are only estimates. Nutritional information may be affected based on the product type, the brand that was purchased, and in other unforeseeable ways. Plantbasedonabudget.com will not be held liable for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on nutritional information. If you need to follow a specific caloric regimen, please consult your doctor first.

Additional Info

Author: Toni Okamoto
Course: Soup
Cuisine: American
Method: Slow cooker
Diet: Vegan
Tried this recipe?Please tag us at @PlantBasedOnABudget! 🙂
About

Toni Okamoto

“They say you are what you eat, so I strive to be healthy.
My goal in life is not to be rich or wealthy,
‘Cause true wealth comes from good health and wise ways…
we got to start taking better care of ourselves ” – Dead Prez

More about Toni Okamoto

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