Steamed pumpkin soup with shallots

It came as a pleasant surprise when my friend Sanjeeta, invited me to share my thoughts on her blog – Lite Bite.  Hop over to Lite Bite for a simple but warm, delicious, Winter soup and to know more about Lite Bite and to read the full article

If only shallots were easy to peel, I would actually replace onions in all recipes with them!  They have divine flavour,  but they can be a bit of a pain, and they are irreplaceable.  One might think – “Ok!  I can use one medium sized onion instead of a shallot.”  But no, shallots are unique.  They have this mild sweetness that onions lack.  So important that I used them right up there with pumpkins in the title.

Recipe: Steamed Pumpkin soup with shallots
Serves: Four soup bowls full

Yellow pumpkin (I used 1 small whole pumpkin) – 444g
(After removing seeds, being steamed and being pureed, this weighed approximately 400g or about 3 cups)
Vegetable stock– 3 cups, approx. 520g
Shallots, peeled and sliced thin – 6
Garlic clove – 1
Bay leaves – 3
Olive oil – 1 tbsp.
Pink salt (powdered kala namak) and pepper to taste


Set the stock to thaw.

Cut pumpkin into six thick segments or big chunks.  Steam cook for about 20 minutes or till a knife slides smoothly into the cooked pumpkin.  You can boil or bake pumpkins but this is the healthiest and easiest method.

If you do not have a steamer, heat enough water in a large vessel and when it comes to a rapid boil place a steel strainer over it to create a steaming contraption.  The strainer while fitting snugly into the vessel should remain at least an inch or two above the water surface.  Place the pumpkin segments inside the strainer, skin side down and cover with a fitting lid.  Lower the heat to medium and let cook in the steam till a knife easily slides into the pumpkin flesh.  I used a steamer and my pumpkins were done in about 20 minutes.

When done, remove and let cool till the pumpkins are easy to handle. This is how they look; firm and not mushy;

Meanwhile, cook the shallots.  Heat oil in a sauce pan to medium hot.  Add bay leaf followed by garlic and sliced shallots.  Reduce heat and fry till the shallots turn light brown and slightly caramalized.  Remove a few aside for garnish along with a bay leaf if you would like to, at this stage.

By this time, the pumpkins should have turned warm.  Using a knife, gently pare the skin and puree the pumpkin along with the above mixture containing shallots, garlic and bay leaves to a grainy consistency with a cup of vegetable stock.  You can make it super smooth too, but I like it a little coarse.   If you do not like the slight texture from bay leaves you might want to remove them before you puree.

Return the pureed soup along with two more cups of stock to the sauce pan. Warm through, adjusting salt.  Serve with a dash of lemon pepper on the top, and some of the caramalized shallots.

Steamed pumpkin, just pureed makes delicious baby food, without the addition of salt and coconut milk.

Did you know that pumpkins and squashes make excellent introductory food for babies as well as toddlers?  Find your baby’s perfect pumpkin soup on my facebook page.


Harini is a vegan food photographer, writer and recipe developer. She also loves feeding birds, reading, watching crime thrillers, and travelling amongst other things.

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  • Ashwini

    Thanks…this is just needed. My baby Sid is growing up fast and with voracious appetite of whatever we eat…now we can try pumpkin surely 🙂

    Thanks a lot Harini:)

    • Harini

      One day I hope to meet little Sid and his intelligent mommy. 🙂 The pumpkins are pretty sweet at this time of the year. I am sure he will love them.

  • Magic of Spice

    Hello, I came over from Sanjeeta’s site. I absolutely loved your guest post, as well as this soup! I am not a Vegan, but I enjoy many meals that are vegan. I find your style and writing so welcoming and honest and look forward to seeing more 🙂

    • Harini

      Welcome, Magic of Spice! Your comment is the first one I read this morning and its already set a good start to the day – thank you!

  • Kiran @

    Coming over from Sanjeeta’s blog — lovely photos of delicious steamed pumpkin soup 🙂

  • Cham

    Being vegan in India – I guess is very though & Expensive, there is plenty of option available in US for vegan lovers, I saw a small packet of tofu cost a hell in India compare to US. Haven’t seen any almond milk, soy milk, in grocery shelf over there, I truly wonder and admire ur strong will power H 🙂
    The soup recipe is simply glorious for this winter season!

    • Harini

      Thanks, Cham. No, it is not all that difficult because most of our dishes are naturally vegan. The problem is that most people do not go for the local alternatives and want only imported brands. Soy milk is easily available from Godrej and Kisan but everyone wants Silk. Almond milk and cashew milk are so easy to make at home. Similarly sofit tofu is very cheap but we want mori-nu. That is what makes it expensive. I agree that mori-nu is better suited for most things, but one should learn to live with the vast variety that tropical climates offer. We have so many things that other countries don’t. Why not live with them? I know there are times when I crib too but ultimately one should learn to adjust.

  • bellini

    This seems like the perfect choice for these winter months Namaste.

    • Harini

      Namaste to you too, Valli! I guess it is more appropriate for you. Here it is only mildly chilly.

  • Lata Raja

    giving you a hi-five. Soup with just the vegetable as base and few flavoursome spices sounds very inspiring!

    • Harini

      Caught it right up there, Lata! 🙂 Thanks!

  • Lubna Karim

    That’s an creamy soup….never knew it can be a baby food too…would like to make it for MM….

    • Harini

      Good, you got another recipe for little Mariam.:)

  • Manasi

    Two thumbs up! awesome, just got back from Sanjeeta’s space and wanted to leave a thought here as well.
    Loved the recipe, how clean and simple it is.

    • Harini

      Manasi, that is sweet! Thanks for visiting me and telling me your thoughts. 🙂

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