Spicy Pumpkin and Kumara Coconut Soup served in three bowls on a wooden board

Pumpkin Kumara Soup

Learn how pumpkin and kumara are the perfect match in this belly warming soup for your soul.

Substitute the kumara with sweet potato if needed.

If you prefer a milder spice add more vegetable and coconut milk to the mixture. If you like things hot then that’s where extra chilli fits in!

Freeze in batches to have ready for any night of the week.

Pumpkin, Kumara and Coconut Soup

I have cooked and sold litres of this soup each year from the Smeg Kitchen at the Auckland Home Show. I have promised many happy customers that I would include the recipe in a cookbook one day. This soup is heart- warming, spicy and moreish.


(GF and V if no fish sauce used) Serves 4–8

  • 6 –7 kaffir lime leaves or zest of 2 limes
  • 3 red chillies deseeded
  • 2 cloves garlic peeled and chopped 1
  • x 5cm piece ginger peeled and
  • roughly chopped
  • 3 lemongrass stems trimmed and roughly chopped
  • sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste
  • a handful of fresh coriander
  • 2 Tbsp avocado and lemon zest oil
  • 1 tsp Chinese five-spice
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 5 shallots sliced
  • 1 butternut pumpkin cut into 1cm dice
  • 2 red kumara cut into 1cm dice
  • 1.5 L chicken or vegetable stock heated
  • 2 Tbsp fish sauce plus extra to season
  • 2 x 400ml tins coconut milk juice of
  • 1 –2 limes crispy shallots to garnish chilli, chopped, to garnish
  • fresh coriander leaves to garnish


  1. Pop the lime leaves, chillies, garlic, ginger, lemongrass and a pinch of sea salt and pepper just to taste into a blender, along with a handful of coriander (saving some for your garnish). Purée to combine, and create a paste by adding in the oil and continuing to blend to achieve a thick but liquid paste.
  2. Heat a large, heavy-based soup pan on the stove, and add the aromatic paste, along with the five-spice, cumin and curry powder. Cook for 1 minute, stirring continuously, and then add the shallots, and cook out on a low heat for around 5 minutes.
  3. Add the pumpkin and kumara, and mix the vegetables to coat with the paste. Add in the hot stock, and simmer your soup for 20 minutes until the vegetables are lovely and tender.
  4. Add in the fish sauce, then add the coconut milk, and check the seasoning.
  5. Remember the fish sauce, lime juice and chilli will add zing to your dish, so careful with the salt and pepper — add to taste until you are happy. If you prefer fish sauce, you can add in extra, as preferred.
  6. Purée the soup, or leave it chunky and/or add rice and noodles to have a full meal in a bowl. Add lime juice to taste, and stir through the soup. Top with crispy shallots mixed with chopped chilli, and fresh coriander.
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