This pumpkin-cider soup gets freshness from tart apples and a good dose of crisp apple cider. Creamy and not too sweet, with an earthy boost from sage leaves, it’s the perfect soup for an autumn dinner. A drizzle of crème frâiche makes it irresistible.
Adapted from Margaret M. Johnson | The Irish Spirit | Chronicle, 2006
This hearty autumnal soup pairs two of the season’s favorite ingredients, pumpkin and apples, although hubbard or butternut squash can easily serve as a substitute for the pumpkin. The cider adds a pleasant sweetness. Serve the pumpkin-cider soup as a starter for dinner or with a salad for lunch.–Margaret M. Johnson
Why our testers loved this
The sweet tartness that the addition of Granny Smith apples and Irish cider lends to this soup, as well as the fact that the finished soup tastes “creamy, yet light” makes this cozy autumn soup a winner for our testers.
Notes on ingredients
- Unsalted butter–We love Kerrygold Irish butter here, but are aware that it’s not necessarily available or affordable to everyone. You can use regular butter.
- Pumpkin–Don’t use a carving pumpkin or Jack-o-lantern here. Any type of pie pumpkin, or other winter squash is perfect for this recipe.
- Chicken stock–Depending on the type of squash or pumpkin you are using in your soup, you may need less than 5 cups of stock. If you are using a softer variety of squash, it will likely release more liquid, making your soup more watery. If you’re unsure, start with 4 cups of stock, and add more to thin if necessary.
- Granny Smith apples–The tartness of Granny Smith apples is perfect in this recipe, but if you need to substitute a different type of apple, choose a tart one. Sweeter varieties may result in an overly sweet soup.
- Irish cider–This is a hard apple cider produced in Ireland. Any of your favorite dry hard cider will work here, but avoid anything sweet.
How to make this recipe
- Sauté the vegetables. Cook the onions and celery in butter until softened. Stir in the pumpkin, apples, stock, cider, sage, and bring to a boil.
- Cook the soup. Simmer until the vegetables are very tender, about 40 minutes. Let the soup cool slightly and remove the sage leaves.
- Blend the soup. Using a food processor, high-speed blender, or immersion blender, puree the soup until very smooth. Return it to a simmer, stir in the cream, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Serve the soup. Ladle the soup into bowls, top with crème fraîche, if using, and a sprinkle of herbs.
What kind of pumpkins are best for soup?
For soup, you’re going to want to seek out something that’s made for eating. The kind made for carving are grown specifically for looks and size; inside, those bad boys are watery and flavorless.
Edible pumpkins are mostly winter squashes so you can mix and match here. Hubbard or butternut squash would be excellent in this soup. The softer the flesh, the more watery it will be, so keep that in mind when choosing.
As far as pumpkins go, anything that’s sold for pies will also make a terrific soup–not too watery and with a lovely, sweet flavor. Sugar (also called sweet) pumpkins, Long Island Cheese pumpkins (so-called because they look like a wheel of cheese), and grey Kakai pumpkins are all excellent choices.
How can I make my own créme fraîche?
To make crème fraîche, combine 1 cup heavy cream with 1 tablespoon buttermilk in a glass jar. Stir to blend, then cover and let stand at room temperature for 12 to 24 hours, or until thickened. Refrigerate.
- When cutting up your pumpkin, save your seeds and make these spiced pumpkin seeds.
- Take care when blending hot liquids as they can splatter and burn you. If using a regular blender or food processor, work in batches. When leave the food processor chute or the hole in the blender lid open to allow steam to escape, but place a towel over the top to avoid splatters.
- The soup can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 4 days, or frozen for up to 3 months.
More great soup recipes
If you make this recipe, or any dish on LC, consider leaving a review, a star rating, and your best photo in the comments below. I love hearing from you.–David
While apples might be best known as ingredients in crisps, crumbles, cakes, and tarts, they’re a delicious way to sweeten up vegetable soups made with seasonal vegetables like butternut squash, pumpkins, and parsnips. Try this soup made with squash and apples and spiced with sage and thyme.
Prep 40 mins
Cook 1 hr
Total 1 hr 40 mins
- In a stock pot or large saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onions and celery, and cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until soft but not browned. Add the pumpkin or squash, apples, stock or broth, cider, and sage, and bring to a boil.
- Reduce the heat to low and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. Remove from the heat and let cool for 10 minutes. Remove the sage leaves.
- Working in batches, transfer the pumpkin soup to a food processor or blender and purée until smooth. (Or purée in the pot with an immersion blender.) Return the soup to the pot, stir in the cream, and cook until heated through. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- To serve, ladle the pumpkin soup into shallow bowls, place a spoonful of crème fraîche in the center of each, and sprinkle with the parsley and chives. Serve with brown bread.
- Blending–Take care when blending hot liquids as they can splatter and burn. If using a food processor or blender, work in batches and leave space for steam to escape.
- Storage–The soup can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 4 days or frozen for up to 3 months.
- Irish cider–If you can’t find Irish cider, substitute your favorite dry hard apple cider. Avoid sweet ciders.
Serving: 1portionCalories: 182kcal (9%)Carbohydrates: 24g (8%)Protein: 3g (6%)Fat: 9g (14%)Saturated Fat: 6g (38%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.5gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 29mg (10%)Sodium: 454mg (20%)Potassium: 635mg (18%)Fiber: 4g (17%)Sugar: 9g (10%)Vitamin A: 15476IU (310%)Vitamin C: 33mg (40%)Calcium: 99mg (10%)Iron: 1mg (6%)