It's become a tradition - something we do every year. We buy a pumpkin, cook it up, bag it and stock the freezer with it. Then my husband makes his amazing Healthy Pumpkin Soup (no cream)! But this year we almost didn't get a pumpkin...
I also followed him around the kitchen while he cooked this year, measuring ingredients, capturing the process and writing it all down because not only do I want my kids to have this recipe, but also future generations. And it's too good not to be shared with the rest of the world!
Weight Watchers friendly @ only 5 WW points on the blue plan, per 1.5 cup serving (with BACON!) this is the best ever Weight Watchers Pumpkin Soup! And although it has no cream, it's rich and creamy. This is because all the ingredients are pureed once it's cooked, making it a super light and healthy and really WW friendly meal.
I'm generally not fond of savory pumpkin things, but this pumpkin soup is an exception because it's unlike any pumpkin soup I'd ever had. I really is the best pumpkin soup recipe ever! It's that good! Made with bacon and mushrooms and no cream, this pumpkin soup tastes gourmet but is actually Weight Watchers friendly! You will also need:
- bacon and turkey bacon * I use pre-cooked bacon. I takes less time and it's less messy to prepare. I buy it at Costco because the packages are larger and less expensive and you can pull out what you need, while keeping the rest of it in the freezer
- mushrooms- white
- soup stock
- cajun seasoning
- pumpkin puree
- onion- white
- white wine - use any white wine, but a dry wine is best (sauvignon blanc, for example)
- feta cheese (optional garnish)
- bacon - I use a combo of turkey bacon and regular bacon, but you can use one or the other. * Use only turkey bacon to further reduce WW points/calories
- pumpkin puree- fresh pumpkin is best, but you can substitute canned pumpkin
Years ago, I worked at a restaurant where everyone raved about the stuffed potatoes. And when I finally decided to see what all the fuss was about, I was sorely disappointed. In fact, I thought they were horrible! They had this foreign flavor - something that was not meant to be with potatoes. Nutmeg. And although many won't agree with me, I think that nutmeg should stay out of the savory culinary world. And I figured out that's why I never liked savory pumpkin things; most of them were made with nutmeg! My husband leaves the nutmeg out for me. Lucky me! And hey, I'm not saying you can't add a pinch of it if you like, but trust me, you really don't need to.
I consider this a gourmet pumpkin soup because not only is it outstanding, it's pretty involved. What I am saying is that this is not your make after work dinner soup; there is a time investment. But I guarantee you - your taste buds will be rewarded with amazing gourmet flavor.
My husband enjoys making soup - he finds it therapeutic after a busy week at work. And he is damn good at it! He learned a lot working as a cook, including some useful soup making tips from some talented chefs he had the opportunity to work with and learn from. And the taste of this soup is testimony to that.
🎃Best Pumpkin for Pumpkin Soup
It's recommended you use special cooking pumpkins, generically labeled “sugar pumpkins” or “pie pumpkins," (specifically named Baby Pam, Autumn Gold, Ghost Rider, New England Pie Pumpkin, Lumina (which are white), Cinderella, and Fairy Tale) when cooking with pumpkin. You can read more about cooking pumpkins You can read more about cooking pumpkins HERE.
However, I don't think this is necessary. We ALWAYS buy the exact same type of pumpkin as we would for carving jack o' lanterns (from the big bin outside the grocery store) and they always taste amazing! The key is that you puree the heck out of it before you bag it or it's too stringy! And then you drain off as much water as you can. Personally, I'm not going to pay a lot more money for a cooking pumpkin (and get something a lot smaller), but the choice is yours. You can also use canned pumpkin for this recipe, but it's not going to be nearly as good. See NOTES for video on how to cook a pumpkin.
💭The Great Pumpkin Shortage
And as I mentioned, we were lucky to get a pumpkin at all this year because there was a shortage! Our early winter weather caused most of the pumpkin crop to rot in the field or right after picking. Sadly, some weren't as lucky as us. I'm just grateful we were able to get one and make our traditional pumpkin soup!
🥗 Side dishes
If you're not sure what to serve with pumpkin soup I recommend any kind of bun, bread, croutons, or crispy fried onion topping. Here are some suggestions:
- Onion & Olive Bread Machine Bread (shown below)
- Dinner buns
- Everything Bagel Cloud Bread Recipe (0 WW points on blue)
- Bread Machine Italian Breadsticks
You can store this soup in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months. It freezes really well! *Always reheat your soup to a rolling boil before serving.
💭 Top tip
Allow your soup to cool (but don't leave it out longer than 2 hours to prevent bacteria from starting to grow) before sealing and storing. This prevents it from tasting sour. *Divide large batches into small containers. Not only will they cool faster, you'll find it easier to fit them in the fridge or freezer to store and reheat them small amount at a time.
This Healthy Pumpkin Soup is made without cream and is not only Weight Watchers friendly, although it takes time, it's still easy to make and tastes gourmet. And even thought it can be eaten as a side, it's hearty enough for a meal!
And if you love pumpkin, try my Weight Watchers Crustless Pumpkin Pie! It's only 2 WW points on the blue plan.
📋 Healthy Pumpkin Soup (no cream) recipe
- 6 quart pot
- blender or food processor
- 6 oz turkey bacon * ½ -12 oz pkg
- 6 oz bacon * ½ -12 oz pkg
- 5 carrots
- ½ bunch celery
- 3 cups sliced mushrooms
- 3 cloves garlic
- 8 cups soup stock
- ¼ tsp cumin
- ½ tsp cajun seasoning
- 4 cups pumpkin puree * fresh pumpkin (*canned can be substituted)
- 1 onion
- 1 red pepper
- ½ tbsp + 1 tsp cajun seasoning (tsp added to mushrooms) *black pepper or cayenne can be substituted
- ¼ cup + 2 tbsp white wine
- ½ tbsp olive oil
- ⅔ cup -container of chicken or vegetable bouillon ½ a container approximately- add to taste
- water to fill pot
- nutmeg to taste (optional)
- red pepper, finely diced and sauteed
- feta cheese, crumbled
- Chop bacon and fry turkey and regular bacon separately until crisp. Set aside.
- Dice carrots, celery and onions. Mince garlic.
- Sautee sliced mushrooms in bacon fat (optional) or in a little olive oil. Set aside.
- In a large, 6 quart pot, carmelize onions with garlic and olive oil for 5 minutes.
- Deglaze pot with 2 tbsp white wine (see video in NOTES on how to deglaze)
- Then add carrots and celery and a dash of salt, Cover with lid and cook for about 10 minutes over medium heat on stove top, stirring occasionally to prevent burning.
- Add soup stock to vegetables in pot and bring to a boil.
- Add pumpkin and continue on rolling boil until vegetables are soft (and a fork can easily go through them). Add cumin and Cajun seasoning.
- Add ¼ cup wine.
- Add enough water to fill the pot to 2 inches below rim.
- Puree mixture in blender or food processor. * You will have to do this in small batches
- Return to pot, add mushrooms and bacon and add bouillon to taste (depending on how strong your stock is). * you may need to add more or less than the ⅔ cup
- Sautee red pepper for topping, if desired. Top soup with crumbled feta and red pepper and serve.
- Freeze remaining soup, as required. It freezes well!