Ever notice how the whole pumpkin thing is skewed towards sweets? And even the savoury foods tend to have a sweet tooth?

Pumpkin soup is totally a thing in Japan, surprisingly enough. You can get little cans of corn or pumpkin soup all steaming hot from the vending machines…and it’s super sweet. 

I thought I would try something radical: a miso soup with a pumpkin base. That has nothing to do with cinnamon and spice. In one way, it’s inspired by Japanese flavours…but has nothing to do with ‘traditional’ Japanese pumpkin soup. Much in the same way that Japanese-style Italian pasta is totally a thing. BTW…google a recipe for “Spaghetti Napolitan”. It’s made with ketchup and hot dogs and has a cool back story.

This is a truly savoury soup for the pumpkin non-conformist and it is perfect for these ridiculously blustery days. And it would be perfect with some homemade pumpkin seeds sprinkled on top.

I am still working through my sugar pumpkin harvest so I made this one from scratch but you can just as easily used canned pumpkin (which my sweet friend Melissa did for the version you see here). Canned pumpkin makes this soup weeknight-doable and still yummy.

Stay warm my friends…

Pumpkin Miso Soup

Want to jump on that PSL bandwagon but looking for something a bit more savoury? This Pumpkin Miso Soup is perfect for sweater weather!
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  • 1 small sugar pumpkin, or 1 can of pumpkin puree, (not pumpkin pie mix)
  • 1/2 cup plain unsweetened soy, oat or cashew milk
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup shiro (white) miso
  • half medium onion,, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 cloves garlic,, sliced
  • 1 inch piece ginger, , minced
  • salt and pepper
  • pumpkin seeds, or nori strips for garnish
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil , for drizzling


  • handblender


  • Roast the pumpkin: preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut the pumpkin in half, remove seeds and stringy bits and then coat the flesh with a generous drizzle of olive oil, 2 tbsp maple, salt and pepper. Place on a rimmed cookie sheet, cut side down and roast for 35-45 minutes.
  • Or, open the can of pumpkin and voila. Boss.
  • Heat 1/4 cup of olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Cook onion until soft and glossy, about 5-7 minutes. Then add garlic and ginger and stir for 2 minutes. Add the pumpkin flesh, turmeric and 500ml (2 cups) water. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat.
  • Finally, add soy milk and miso and blitz with a handheld blender until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper if necessary.


Want to reduce food waste? Don’t toss those seeds!! Here’s how to prep them:
Rinse and pat pumpkin seeds dry. Heat oven to 325 degrees. Toss seeds with a good glug of olive oil, salt, pepper and a sprinkling of turmeric and cumin. Roast for 20 minutes, removing after ten to give them a stir. YUM!

Photo Credit: Melissa Quantz