Pumpkin Soup with Shrimp
Pumpkin Soup with Shrimp

Cinderella Pumpkin
Cinderella Pumpkin

Pumpkin Soup with Smoked Scallops
Pumpkin Soup with Smoked Scallops

Best pumpkins for pumpkin pie are sweet potatoes! 😉 — ZoeMcC

Turns Back Into a Pumpkin…

For years, every season I’ve been looking for a pumpkin which taste would come close to those my parents were growing in Ukraine in nineties. There were so many varieties of pumpkins and winter squashes to try, yet I couldn’t find a single one exciting — too bland, colorless, and fibrous for my taste, especially after cooking. I was ready to give up after my latest disappointment with Sugar Pie pumpkin, when decided to give a try to a larger Cinderella pumpkin I avoided earlier because of the size. Well, so far this variety is the closest to Ukrainian pumpkins I remember. The taste is still not as bright and fruity-sweet as I’d like it to be, but the color and texture are exceptional! Sunny orange and silky juicy, it’s a pleasure to eat it just roasted or cook with its puree. To really enjoy this soup recipe, use your favorite, the best tasting pumpkins and always start from scratch.

You Need a Pumpkin

Cinderella Pumpkin. (Rouge vif d’Etampes) C. maxima. This centuries-old French heirloom pumpkin looks just like the coach in the fairy tale Cinderella. The glowing orange color contrasts magically with the very pronounced lobes and flattened top. Tasty, orange flesh transforms pies and savory dishes.

Cinderella pumpkin is surprisingly easy to cut. You look at the pumpkin and wish you had an axe to deal with it… In reality, it’s an easy job for a good sharp chefs knife. When roasted, it becomes like a soft butter. It makes sense to slice the whole pumpkin, roast all the slices at the same time, scrape pumpkin puree into containers, and than cook with it using as needed.

And Other Magical Ingredients

You can substitute leeks with onions, but leeks are the best in this soup. Any substitution is a step down. Fresh garlic can be substituted with roasted garlic puree. I like adding it fresh for some pungency, which becomes very delicate after you bring soup to the final boil before serving. Miso paste can be optional and substituted with more salt, but actually it’s a secret ingredient in this soup. It adds some depth, but barely recognizable. There are different varieties of miso. They taste different. Choose your favorite and adjust the amount to your taste. If miso is a new ingredient for you, there is a link to the article about it in Recipe Notes section below. This soup is good without any proteins added, but crustacean or scallops make it special. Adding sautéed Gulf of Mexico Brown shrimp or smoked scallops are two my favorite versions.

Pumpkin Soup with Shrimp

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Total Time15 mins
Course: Appetizer, Main Dish, Soup
Cuisine: American, Eastern European, European
Keyword: cream, lycooking, lyukum cooking lab, recipe, seafood, shrimp, soup
Servings: 2 portions


  • 2 cups pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup leeks white, sliced
  • 3 cups water or stock (vegetable, chicken)
  • 1/2 tbsp miso adjust to taste
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 clove garlic adjust to taste
  • 1 tsp salt adjust to taste
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper freshly ground, adjust to taste
  • 4 tbsp heavy whipping cream or Crème fraîche, or Mexican cream, or Salvadorian cream
  • 4-6 each shrimp Gulf of Mexico Brown, or Argentinian Red


to prepare pumpkin puree

  • Preheat oven to 350F. Wash Cinderella pumpkin. Slice it in half, remove seeds, and slice 2" thick. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Arrange slices and your favorite herbs (thyme, rosemary, sage, etc.), spray them with olive oil, season with black pepper and coarse salt and brown sugar. Bake for 1 hour. Scrape soft pumpkin flesh and store it in closed containers, refrigerated for 3-4 days or freeze for later use. Discard pumpkin skin and herbs.
    Roasted Cinderella Pumpkin

for making soup

  • Melt 1 tbsp butter in a skillet and sauté leeks until soft and sweet. Measure and add all the ingredients and blend them.
    Blending Pumpkin Soup
  • In a pot, slowly bring blended mixture to simmer on medium heat, lower the heat and simmer for 1-2 minutes to gently cook garlic. Adjust the taste.
  • Peel and devein shrimp. Melt 1 tbsp butter and sauté shrimp for about 3 minutes (depends on size). Season them with salt.
  • In a small bowl, mix 4 tbsp of heavy whipping cream and 1/2 ladle of soup. Ladle piping hot soup into warm bowls and add then add the cream mixture, divided. Arrange hot shrimp on top of the soup in each bowl and serve.
Pumpkin Soup with Shrimp