This easy, delicious pumpkin soup flavored with spices is a real winter warmer. Balkabagi, pumpkin, is sold in street stalls and farmers markets, Pazar, at home, either as a whole or in huge, deseeded chunks and we love its natural sweetness. We then turn this luscious, nutritious pumpkin either into a delicious soup, or make our popular Candied Pumpkin dessert, Kabak Tatlisi or simply roast in olive oil and seasoning.
I mildly flavored our pumpkin soup, Balkabagi Corbasi, with ground cumin and pul biber. Warming, pungent cumin and a delicious spicy kick from pul biber or red pepper flakes work well with the sweetness of the pumpkin. Adding plain yoghurt at the end gives a lovely creamy texture and a bit of tartness, really delicious and wholesome. You can try this delicious soup with butternut squash too.
I recently made another variation of this soup, topped with caramalised onions and crumbled feta or beyaz peynir. Tangy feta and crispy caramalised onions complement the natural sweetness of the pumpkin soup.
I hope you enjoy this nutritious, easy pumpkin soup, packed with flavor. If you also fancy making an easy Turkish style pumpkin dessert, here’s my Candied Pumpkin dessert with walnuts recipe. Pumpkin is baked here in its very own juice with sugar and the result is an exquisite dessert with the full flavor of pumpkin, also fancy enough to share with family and friends. The candied pumpkin recipe is also at my cookery book. And if you’d like to get a signed copy of my cookery book, Ozlem’s Turkish Table, packed with delicious, healthy, authentic Turkish recipes, you can order at this link, signed copies here now 20 % Off , it is delivered worldwide, including the USA, Canada and Mexico here.
- 800 gr / 1.75 lb. deseeded pumpkin or butternut squash flesh, cut in small chunks
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 15 ml/ 1 tbsp. ground cumin
- 10 ml / 2 tsp. Turkish pul biber, red pepper flakes or chili flakes (you can use more or less depending on your taste)
- 1 lt / 1 ¾ pints/ 4 cups vegetable stock (or water)
- 30 ml / 2 tbsp. olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 60 ml / 4 tbsp. plain natural yoghurt to serve (optional)
- Roasted pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds to serve (optional)
- Extra virgin olive oil to serve (optional)
- Variation with caramalised onions and feta:
- 1 onion, cut in half and thinly sliced
- 30ml/2tbsp olive oil
- 5ml/1tsp pul biber
- 30gr/2tbsp crumbled feta or beyaz peynir
- Clean, peel and deseed the pumpkin and cut in small chunks.
- Put the pumpkin chunks and onions into a large, heavy pan. Pour in the stock or water and olive oil. Then bring the pan to the boil.
- Reduce the heat, cover the pan and simmer for about 25 minutes, or until all the vegetables are cooked.
- Puree the soup in a blender and return to the pan.
- Over a low heat, season with salt, freshly ground black pepper, ground cumin and pul biber, red pepper flakes or chili flakes. Combine well and turn the heat off.
- Pour the soup into serving bowls. Swirl a tablespoonful of plain yoghurt over (if you prefer). Sprinkle a few sunflower seeds or roasted pumpkin seeds, as well as little red pepper flakes and ground cumin, if you like. I also like to drizzle a little extra virgin olive oil over the soup before serving.
- For the variation with caramalised onions; heat 30ml/2tbsp olive oil on a saute pan. Stir in the sliced onions and saute for 15 minutes over medium to high heat, stirring often. The onions will soften, change their colour and caramalise at the end of this period; keep an eye on the onions so they don't get burned. if you enjoy more heat, stir in 1 tsp pul biber or red pepper flakes to the onions, stir and infuse the pul biber to the onions and olive oil for 1-2 minutes. Turn the heat off. Serve the soup into individual bowls, topped with caramalised onions and crumbled feta, as well as a few pumpkin or sunflower seeds if you like.