Punchy flavors borrowed from Sri Lankan-style curries make this curried pumpkin soup a palate-awakening starter. The tamarind onion garnish, adapted from Chef Sam Fore in Lexington, Kentucky, is a showstopping condiment. If you have any left over, they'll make your next-day turkey sandwiches sing!

EatingWell.com, November 2022


Credit: Ali Redmond

Recipe Summary

35 mins
50 mins


Curry Powder
Tamarind Onions


Instructions Checklist
  • To prepare curry powder: Toast coriander seeds, fennel seeds, mustard seeds, cardamom seeds and peppercorns in a small dry skillet over medium-high heat until the mustard seeds pop and the mixture smells fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and let cool slightly, 5 minutes. Using a spice grinder or a mortar and pestle, grind the toasted spices into a fine powder. Transfer to a small bowl; mix in paprika, cumin and turmeric. Set aside.

  • To prepare soup: Heat 1/4 cup coconut oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add curry leaves;  cook, stirring, until they become fragrant and darken, 20 to 30 seconds. Add chopped onion; cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent and beginning to color on the edges, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in serrano, garlic and ginger; cook, stirring constantly, until lightly golden and fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the curry powder and stir well; cook, stirring constantly, until the spices are bloomed and fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in pumpkin and gradually pour in stock, stirring well to combine. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to low and let simmer, stirring often, until slightly thickened and flavors have melded, 15 to 20 minutes.

  • Meanwhile, prepare onions: Heat coconut oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onion; cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and beginning to brown on the edges, 4 to 6 minutes. Stir in ½ teaspoon salt, pepper and crushed red pepper, if using. Remove from heat. Add tamarind paste and brown sugar; stir until the sugar dissolves, about 1 minute.

  • Puree the soup with an immersion blender or in batches in a blender. (Use caution when blending hot liquids.) Stir in vinegar, agave and 2 teaspoons salt. Top with the onions and cashews.


For the best flavor, toast nuts before using in a recipe. To toast chopped nuts, place in a small dry skillet and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant, 2 to 4 minutes.

Sticky, sour tamarind paste, or concentrate, is made from the pulp of seedy tamarind tree pods. It's one of the main ingredients in Worcestershire sauce and a key flavor in many Southeast Asian curries as well as pad thai. Typically sold in a jar, it keeps indefinitely in your fridge.

To make ahead

Refrigerate soup (Steps 1-2) for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

Nutrition Facts

3/4 cup
157 calories; protein 3g; carbohydrates 15g; dietary fiber 3g; sugars 6g; fat 10g; saturated fat 6g; mono fat 2g; poly fat 1g; vitamin a iu 10906IU; vitamin b3 niacin 1mg; vitamin c 6mg; vitamin e iu 1IU; folate 19mg; vitamin k 14mg; sodium 452mg; calcium 56mg; iron 2mg; magnesium 39mg; phosphorus 59mg; potassium 211mg; zinc 1mg; omega 6 fatty acid 1g; niacin equivalents 1mg; selenium 1mcg.