Spicy Pumpkin Soup

This quick and easy Spicy Pumpkin Soup is full of harvest vegetables and the smokey flavour of chipolte peppers. It’s the perfect warm and comforting soup on a cold day!

My husband and I just returned home from a lovely Fall vacation. Along with lots of coffee times and reading, we tried to go for a walk every day.

Exploring new areas in the woods and nearby parks with the leaves turning color was so much fun. All that exercise and brisk Fall air makes a person hungry, and today’s Spicy Pumpkin Soup recipe is the perfect solution to a chilly day meal.

I discovered a variation of this Spicy Pumpkin Soup recipe years ago through my blog friend Edie. It sounded unusual and interesting, so I decided to try it out for the first time ~ for a group of 45 women!

That hilarious soup making day is a fun memory, and I realized recently that although I had made this soup numerious times in very large quantities, I’d never made it for just my family.

So, yesterday was the FIRST time I made this Spicy Pumpkin Soup in its “normal sized” quantity.

How to Make Spicy Pumpkin Soup

Spicy Pumpkin Soup ingredients


  • 2 Tablespoons butter and 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion
  • 1 large carrot
  • 3 stalks celery
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 2 boxes chicken stock
  • 1 can pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling!!) ~ 14 oz can (Which is half the size of the can pictured…)
  • 3 cups diced baby potatoes
  • 1/2 cup barley
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 – 2 tsp. chopped chipoltes (they can be VERY hot, so add in a little at a time)
  • cayenne pepper, optional
  • 2-3 Tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 cup greek yogurt or sour cream, optional
  • salt and pepper to taste
3 bowls filled with chopped vegetables ~ carrots & celery, onions, & diced potatotoes

Chop the veggies

If you’re in a time crunch, you’ll be happy to discover that the most time consuming part of prepping this Spicy Pumpkin Soup is the chopping of the veggies. Once you’ve chopped the carrot, celery, onion, potatoes, and garlic ~ the hard part is done!:)

Saute Away

Heat up a large stock pot and add in 2 tablespoons butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add to the melted butter the celery, carrots, and onion. Once you’ve sauted and stirred them for about 5 minutes, add in the garlic. Salt the veggies as you go.

Add in the rest of the soup ingredients

When the onions and celery are cooked and soft, and the carrots are tender,  add in the chicken broth, potatoes, spices, and barley.

Soup ingredients with a focus on a can of chipolte peppers

Spice up your soup with Chipotle Peppers ~ cautiously!!

I’ve learned through trial and error that not all canned chipotle peppers are equal. Some cans are SUPER DUPER spicy. I found that out when I threw a whole can into something and it was so hot we could hardly eat it!!

This time, I gingerly added in the recommended 1 tsp to begin with. After letting it simmer a bit, I did a taste test and found it didn’t do anything! I added little by little until I had added the whole can, and it still wasn’t spicey enough (for us). So, I ended up adding  1 tsp. cayanne pepper to give it the kick I was looking for.

Feel free to add as much or as little spice as you want to fit you and your family’s taste. The recipe does mention that the key to the spicy, rich flavour of this soup is the peppers. I agree.:)

Simmer and taste test frequently

The soup will need to simmer for about 45 minutes, or until the barley is cooked through. During that time, I taste test and alter the spices as the flavour simmers in.

Cool down the spice with honey

Once you have a nice spicy flavour, add in honey until it is “cooled” to become the flavour that works best for you.

bowl of spicy pumpkin soup with a dollop of greek yogurt on the top

Additional options:

  • To make  a “creamier” soup, stir in plain greek yogurt or heavy cream at the end.
  • The barley can be eliminated for a gluten free, vegetarian option.
  • Diced cooked chicken or bacon could be added to make this soup even more filling.
  • We love Spicy Pumpkin Soup served with grilled ham and cheese sandwiches (with a thin slice of red onion inside).
  • This soup makes a generous portion, and is more than the 2 of us can eat in a few days, so I freeze the leftovers in large zip loc bags. It’s so handy to pull out on busy days!
  • If you only have a large can of pumpkin (like I had), you can use the other half to make these delicious Pumpkin Blackberry Muffins! (Frozen blueberries are really yummy in the muffins, too.)

Other Yummy Fall Soup Recipes:

Spicy Pumpkin Soup

Spicy Pumpkin Soup


  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion
  • 1 large carrot
  • 3 stalks celery
  • 2 boxes chicken stock
  • 1 can pumpkin puree, 14 oz ~ not pumpkin pie filling!
  • 3 cups diced baby potatoes with skin on
  • 1/2 cup barley
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1-2 tsp. chopped chipolte peppers, found in the Mexican section of the store.
  • 2-3 Tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt or heavy cream, optional
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Saute the chopped carrot, celery, and onion in melted butter and oil for about 5 minutes.
  2. Add minced garlic and saute until onions are clear and carrots are tender.
  3. Salt soup throughout the cooking process to provide more flavour.
  4. Add chicken stock, pumpkin, potatoes, barley and all the spices.
  5. Cook for about 45 minutes or until barley is tender.
  6. Taste test throughout the cooking process and add more spices if desired.
  7. Once the soup has achieved a rich, spicy flavour, "cool" it down by adding honey.
  8. If you prefer a creamy type soup, stir in greek yogurt or heavy cream at the end.
Nutrition Information:
Serving Size: 1 grams
Amount Per Serving: Unsaturated Fat: 0g

Did you make this recipe?

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  1. This soup sounds really good and perfect for the Fall with the pumpkin, a little spice and just the overall warmth you get when sipping some delicious soup! I saw on your IG Stories you have to take a ferry to get off the island and sometime have a long wait! Very interesting! ha! Long walks, coffee and reading sounds so peaceful, sounds like a great vacation!


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