This roasted garlic pesto pumpkin soup is the perfect hearty fall dish

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What better way to celebrate fall than with a comforting, hearty bowl of soup? This roasted garlic pesto pumpkin soup (served in optional pumpkin bowls) is loaded with powerful flavors that’ll warm your taste buds and your soul! Whether you’re looking for a decorative dish to kick off your Thanksgiving meal, or just want a cozy lunch on a cool fall day, this recipe will hit the spot. 


For the soup

  • 1/2 pumpkin, seeds removed and reserved (plus 4 small pumpkins if you are making the pumpkin bowls)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 small shallots, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup coconut milk + 1 cup water, or 2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or more or less, based on preference)
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • A pinch of crushed red pepper flakes

For the sage pesto

  • 1 head of garlic 
  • 1 cup fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup fresh sage
  • 1/4 cup shelled pistachios
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

For the fried pumpkin seeds 

  • 1 tablespoon coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • Reserved pumpkin seeds from above
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • Salt to taste 

Tools Used


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  2. Cut your pumpkin in half and then into fourths and set the pumpkin seeds aside for later. Place the pumpkin on a baking sheet and rub the pumpkin with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Chop off the top portion of the garlic head to reveal cloves. Peel any excess paper/skin off from the bulb of garlic, then pour about a teaspoon of olive oil on top of the garlic cloves and cover with foil. Roast both the pumpkin and garlic together on the same baking sheet for 45 minutes, or until the pumpkin is tender and the garlic is golden brown and soft. Remove from the oven and allow everything to cool for five minutes. Squeeze garlic into a small bowl and mash well with a fork, then set the garlic aside. 
  3. Grab the pumpkin and add it to a food processor (or mash extremely well) and puree with 1 cup of chicken broth until completely smooth. 
  4. Heat a large pot over medium heat and add the butter and shallots. Sauté the shallots for about 5 minutes or until soft. Add the thyme and cook for another 30 seconds. Add the pumpkin puree, remaining chicken broth, coconut milk, water, cayenne, nutmeg, maple syrup and crushed red pepper. Bring the soup to a low simmer and simmer for 15-20 minutes.
  5. While the soup cooks, make the pesto. Add the roasted garlic, parsley, sage and pistachios to a blender. Pulse until finely chopped and then add in the olive oil. Add the parmesan cheese and pulse a few more times until combined. Season with salt and pepper.

To fry the pumpkin seeds 

  • Add the reserved pumpkin seeds to a bowl and toss with 1 tablespoon of coconut milk and 1 tablespoon of flour. In a small bowl, combine the chipotle chili powder, pepper and brown sugar. Place a skillet on the stove top and set to medium heat, and add the olive oil. Once the oil is hot, carefully add the pumpkin seeds into the pan. Stir the pumpkin seeds around in the skillet with a spoon or spatula continuously until they expand and start to brown. Toss with the chili powder and a pinch of salt. Once the seeds are browned, remove from the skillet and place on a paper towel to drain. 

To assemble the soup

  • Ladle the soup into bowls (or your roasted pumpkin bowls, see below) and top each bowl with a dollop of pesto, a sprinkle of pumpkin seeds and an optional drizzle of coconut milk. 

To make the roasted pumpkin soup bowls 

  • Remove the tops of the 4 smaller pumpkins and scoop out the seeds. Rub the insides of the pumpkins with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 20-30 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit, or until pumpkins are soft to the touch.

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