This festive fall soup is easy to make in about 35 minutes, making it a great celebration soup for holidays. This soup's sweetness from the pumpkin and carrot is balanced out with tartness from Granny Smith apples. And, a splash of cream at the end adds an indulgent smooth finish.
This recipe was originally posted in September 2019 and updated in September 2020 with improved instructions and new photos.
If you're anything like me, as soon as September hits you are already looking forward to the best parts of fall. For me, that's cooler weather, falling leaves, and apple cider. And of course, all things pumpkin and anything orange!
This Carrot Pumpkin Apple Soup really fits the autumn theme - the pumpkin and apples are quintessentially fall of course. And the carrots give the soup a beautiful bright orange color. This easy-to-make soup will brighten up any autumn meal, and would be especially great for a Thanksgiving feast.
And even better, you can make this soup ahead of time, saving yourself some hassle in the busy kitchen that day! (Want to save yourself even more stress on the big day? Swap your regular stuffing for my easy Crock Pot Stuffing!)
- canned pumpkin puree: make sure you don't buy pumpkin pie filling instead, the cans look very similar and are sold right next to each other!
- apples: Granny Smith are really the best here. They provide a nice tartness that sets off the sweetness of the carrot and pumpkin really well.
- chicken broth: you can substitute vegetable broth, no problem.
- cream: you can use light cream or heavy cream here. I've made it both ways, and I prefer light cream, I thought it was creamy enough without being too heavy!
Step by step photos
1. Cook onions in butter until slightly browned.
2. Add garlic, ginger, cumin and salt and pepper. Cook for another minute.
3. Add the chopped carrots and apples and cook for another minute.
4. Add the canned pumpkin and broth, simmer until the carrots are soft.
5. Turn the heat off and pour in the cream. Blend with an immersion blender (or regular blender or food processor). Add more salt, pepper, and/or broth if needed.
Tips and tricks
- If you want to save some time, use baby carrots instead of whole carrots. That way you can skip peeling! Still give them a rough chop though so they will cook faster and more evenly.
- Want to save even more time? Don't worry about precise measurements. No one will notice if there is a bit more apple or a bit less carrot. I included approximations for how much of each item you will need (i.e. "about 1 large onion"). Rely on these rather than measuring everything exactly, the recipe will still come out great!
- After the soup is blended, be sure to taste the finished soup. Does it need more salt or pepper? Add it now and taste again. This final step will really help the soup reach its fullest potential! Also, if the soup is too thick, feel free to mix in a splash more broth, water, or even cream!
- If you're looking for main courses that would go well with this soup, try my recipes for Dutch oven chicken breast and garlic herb baked turkey meatballs!
I like using a stick (immersion) blender to blend the soup - it's easy and convenient. But, if you don't have one, you can use a food processor or blender. But, you will need to work in batches so the blender doesn't overflow. This is especially important since the soup will be hot. Please check out this article for more tips on blending soup in a regular blender!
As I mentioned, using a stick blender is super easy and convenient. But, there will be some texture left in the soup. If you want a perfectly smooth, velvety soup, you will definitely want to use a regular blender (not a food processor!). See the article I linked above for tips on how to blend soup in a regular blender!
Yes, you can make carrot pumpkin apple soup up to three days ahead, keep it in the fridge, and then re-heat it when you are ready to eat. There are two ways you can make the soup ahead of time. You can complete the recipe as written, and then gently re-heat the soup over the lowest heat setting. The low heat is necessary so the cream doesn't curdle. You want to avoid boiling the soup for the same reason.
Or, you can make the soup and then stop before you add the cream. When you are ready to serve it, heat the soup ingredients up on the stove. Then add the cream and blend, just as instructed in the original recipe. You may need to add some extra cream or broth to get the consistency you want. This way you don't have to worry so much about the cream separating.
Yes you can! Just follow the second method I outlined in the previous question, but rather than putting the soup in the fridge, just store it in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Then, you can thaw it in the fridge and finish the soup as outlined above.
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Carrot Pumpkin Apple Soup
A beautiful bright orange soup that's warm and inviting. Tart Granny Smith apples set off the sweetness of the carrot and pumpkin. A splash of cream at the end adds a velvety smooth touch.
- Prep Time: 10
- Cook Time: 25
- Total Time: 35 minutes
- Yield: 6 - 8 servings 1x
- Category: side, appetizer
- Method: stovetop
- Cuisine: American
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 cups chopped onion (about 1 large onion)
- 3 cloves finely chopped garlic
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped ginger (about 1 inch piece)
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt, or to taste
- ½ teaspoon black pepper, or to taste
- 3 cups peeled and chopped Granny Smith apples (about 2 medium or 1 ½ large apples)
- 2 cups peeled and chopped carrot (about 2 large carrots)
- 1 15 ounce can pumpkin puree
- 4 cups chicken broth (can substitute vegetable broth), plus more if needed
- 1 cup light or heavy cream
1. Heat the butter in a stock pot or Dutch Oven over medium high heat. Add the onion and saute until lightly browned, about five minutes, stirring occasionally.
2. Add the ginger, garlic, salt, pepper and cumin. Cook for 1 minute or until fragrant, stirring frequently.
3. Add the apple and carrot, cook and stir for an additional minute.
4. Add the broth and pumpkin puree. Stir to combine, turn up the heat to bring to a boil. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer, and simmer the soup for 15 minutes or until the carrots are tender, stirring occasionally.
5. Once the carrots are tender, turn off the heat. Add in the cream and blend the soup with a stick (immersion) blender until the desired consistency is reached. If needed, add a splash of additional broth or water to thin the soup. Taste the soup and add additional salt and/or pepper if necessary.
This recipe makes about 8 cups of soup, enough for 6 - 8 people if served as a starter.
If you don't have an immersion blender, you can use a regular blender. (A regular blender will give the soup a more velvety smooth texture than an immersion blender.) If using a regular blender, make sure to work in batches so the soup doesn't overflow and follow these important safety tips!
How to make the soup ahead of time:
The soup can be made ahead of time using one of the following methods:
- Prepare the soup as directed and store covered in the fridge for up to three days. To reheat the soup, gently warm the soup over the lowest heat setting and avoid boiling the soup to prevent the cream from separating.
- Or, prepare the soup as directed, but stop and refrigerate (for up to three days) or freeze (for up to three months) before adding the cream and blending. Reheat on the stove until warm, then add the cream and blend. Add more broth or cream if the soup is too thick.
Keywords: canned pumpkin soup, pumpkin carrot soup, carrot apple soup, carrot soup, carrot pumpkin apple soup
Just made the soup to serve to 26 for Thanksgiving. Made adjustments. Delicious
That's great Joan I'm so glad you liked the soup! Happy Thanksgiving!
Could I use coconut milk instead of cream and can I freeze this soup.
Hi Yvonne! Yes you can use coconut milk absolutely! It won't be quite as "creamy" but I think the flavor of the coconut milk would complement the flavors of the soup really well. You can freeze the soup, but I would leave out either the cream or coconut milk and mix it in after reheating the soup, that way it keep it's texture better. I hope this helps, and if you make the soup I hope you enjoy it!
Could I use a pumpkin instead of the purée?
Hi Ali, if you would like to use fresh pumpkin puree, that would work just the same as using the canned I would assume. Or, do you mean can you add chunks of fresh pumpkin and cook them in the soup? If you mean that, I would be concerned that there would not be enough liquid to cook the fresh pumpkin, because the puree itself provides some of the liquid. If you want to use fresh pumpkin instead, I would perhaps roast the chunks in the oven first and then add them in. After pureeing, you may need to adjust and add some more liquid. To be honest though I haven't tried it this way myself, so you may need to experiment a bit. If you do end up trying it, please let me know how it works out!