West Indian Pumpkin and Yam Soup

West Indian Pumpkin and Yam soup has lots of spices and a little bit of heat from the scotch bonnet. Very Caribbean. Served either hot or cold.

I am adding this here as part of my series on Autumn soups. It has been posted online for some number of years now so it’s not one of my new recipes, but quite a few people have enjoyed this soup. So once again I am sharing it.

You’ll notice that I mention “cooking pumpkin” in this recipe. What I mean by that is to use the small sugar pumpkins (pie pumpkins) which average out about the size of a cantaloupe. Avoid using the large ones you have for Jack-O-Lanterns, as they tend to be stringy. I wouldn’t use the large ones for anything but decoration and toasting the seeds. Besides, if you have put a lit candle into a pumpkin for Halloween, I don’t think it is really safe to eat after that.

Prep: 1 hour
Cook: 2 hours
Serves: 10 (one cup servings)


2 lbs cooking pumpkin or 2 lbs butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 lb sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons oil
1 large Spanish onion, chopped
1 scotch bonnet peppers or 1 habanero pepper, seeded and chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
2 tablespoons snipped fresh thyme
2 teaspoons orange zest
1 tablespoon curry powder
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cinnamon stick
2 bay leaves
6 cups chicken stock
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1/2 cup toasted pumpkin seeds (aka pepitas; optional; for garnish)


In a mixing bowl, toss squash and sweet potatoes with melted butter, brown sugar, salt and black pepper.
Spread mixture onto a greased roasting pan.
Bake at 350F for 1-1 1/2 hours, or until tender.
Saute onion in oil in a large pot until tender, about 5 minutes.
Add the scotch bonnet, garlic, and ginger and cook just until fragrant.
Add the thyme, orange peel, curry powder, nutmeg, cinnamon stick, and bay leaves, mixing everything thoroughly.
When it becomes sticky, add the roasted vegetables and stir to mix, then the chicken stock, stirring to keep blending everything.
Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Remove soup from heat and allow to cool for 15 minutes.
Puree approximately 1/3 of the soup in a blender until it is smooth then add back to soup and stir well.
Add heavy cream and coconut milk and blend.
Reheat if necessary.
May also be chilled before serving up to 1 day.
Serve cold or hot, garnished with roasted pumpkin seeds (if desired).

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