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You Can Grow It: Pumpkin soup with BUGS

Jim Duthie heads to the Boise Urban Garden School to learn more about pumpkins.

BOISE, Idaho — Halloween is nearly here and pumpkins have made their annual takeover of everything from lattes and even soups.

KTVB garden master Jim Duthie spoke with Pohley Richey, a registered dietitian and the culinary instructor at Boise Urban Garden School, about different ways of cooking pumpkins, including pumpkin soup.

"I love it so much. It goes sweet, savory, just about anything. Pumpkin is so nutritious for you -- lots of Vitamin A, potassium. Foods with a lot of Vitamin A and potassium have been shown to lower your risk of heart disease and cancer. It has fiber in it, and it just tastes delicious," Richey said.

Richey added that pumpkins are versatile and can be decorated or eaten.

When cooking with pumpkins, Richey recommends sugar pie pumpkins, which are typically smaller. Larger pumpkins used for Jack-O-Lanterns won't have the flavor people are looking for, Richey said.

Scroll down for full instructions on how to cook pumpkin soup.

“So this is a really super-simple soup," Richey said of the plant-based soup.

For some extra Halloween fun, Richey garnishes the soup with a spider web made of pesto sauce. BUGS also made a spider out of sliced almonds and cashews.



  • 1 medium (2-3 pounds) sugar pie pumpkin, cubed
  • 1 medium white onion, chopped
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • ½ cup unsweetened plain coconut milk (the refrigerated kind)
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1-2 teaspoon curry powder (to taste)
  • Salt to taste


  1. To cube pumpkin: First, microwave pumpkin for 3 minutes so the flesh is easier to cut. Next, cut in half and scoop out seeds and stringy flesh with a spoon or ice cream scoop. Cut into cubes. Save seeds to roast.
  2. Heat vegetable stock, coconut milk, pepper, ginger, garlic and curry powder in a medium stockpot. Whisk to combine.
  3. Add onion and pumpkin cubes and cook over medium heat until softened, which takes about 25 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat, blend with an immersion blender until smooth.
  5. Optional: Ladle hot soup over a half-cup of cooked whole grain (such as wheat berries, farro or wild rice) for a nutty crunch and texture.

Optional plant-based pesto garnish: 

  • 3 c. basil leaves 
  • ½ c. almonds
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ½ c. vegetable broth
  • juice from 1 small lemon
  • salt/pepper to taste
  • 1/3 c. olive oil. 

Combine all ingredients, except olive oil, in a food processor. Process until smooth. With processor running, drizzle olive oil in. For a spooky Halloween treat, thin pesto with water, if needed, add to a squeeze bottle, squeeze pesto into a spider web shape on the surface of the soup. To form a spider on the web, use one whole almond as the body, and eight half cashews as legs!

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