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creamy pumpkin soup recipe in white bowl topped with grilled cheese croutons and fresh thyme

Spicy Pumpkin Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons

  • Author: Elizabeth Van Lierde
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 bowls 1x
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegetarian


This Spicy Pumpkin Soup is lusciously creamy with warm, savory flavor and kick of heat, then topped with the ultimate and adorable grilled cheese croutons!



For pumpkin soup:

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 yellow onion, diced

2 large carrots, peeled and diced

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree

1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves

1 teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon cracked black pepper

½ teaspoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon ground ginger

½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (more or less depending on your spicy level)

2 cups vegetable broth

2 tablespoons maple syrup

¼ cup heavy cream, optional, plus more for serving

grilled cheese croutons, recipe follows

flakey sea salt, such as Maldon

For grilled cheese croutons:

2 tablespoons butter

2 slices sourdough bread

2 slices cheddar cheese


To make pumpkin soup:

  1. In a large dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, carrot and garlic and cook for 3-4 minutes.
  2. Add the pumpkin, thyme, salt, black pepper, cumin, ginger, nutmeg and cayenne. Cook over medium-low heat for an additional 3-4 minutes. 
  3. Add the vegetable broth and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently. 
  4. Stir in the maple syrup. If a smoother texture soup is desired, transfer to a blender or Vitamix. Puree until it reaches your desired consistency. Return the puree back to the dutch oven and check for seasoning.
  5. If a creamier texture is desired, add in 1 tablespoon of heavy cream at a time until the desired consistency is reached.
  6. Garnish with grilled cheese croutons, extra cream and flakey sea salt, if desired.

To make grilled cheese croutons:

  1. Butter two slices of sourdough bread on each side. Add in two slices of cheddar cheese (or your choice of cheese).
  2. Heat a medium cast-iron skillet over medium heat for 2 minutes. Add in grilled cheese. Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until golden brown.
  3. Slice grilled cheese up into small square portions for ‘croutons’.


Store the soup in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Make the croutons fresh on the day you are going to serve.

Nutrition info is based on 4 servings.

Keywords: fall squash, cheesy croutons, puree