Caribbean Pumpkin Soup

Like I said in my last food blog post about pumpkin pancakes, I don’t necessarily relate the orange vegetable with autumn, as it is eaten year round in the Caribbean and Surinam where I have family and roots, and therefore visit often. Thinking about that, I decided to make a pumpkin soup with a Caribbean twist. I didn’t have a clue about the end result, I just went to the market and started selecting ingredients that are used a lot in the tropics. Sweet plantain, sweet potato, pumpkin, ginger, unsweetened coconut milk, shrimp, Surinamese Mme Jeanette chili pepper, garlic, cane sugar and rum. These would be the star ingredients. The rest I would figure out while cooking. And I did! I added tomatoes, cinnamon and coriander, chicken stock and a lot of LOVE. It was De-Li-Cious! Scroll down for the full recipe.

caribbean pumpkin soup pumpkin and garlic pumpkin soup

sweet plantain

You’ll need (serves 4)

  • 500 gr pumpkin, diced
  • 1 large sweet potato, diced
  • 3 roma tomatoes, diced
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 3 bay leafs
  • 3 small chunks of ginger (3 cm)
  • 1 chicken stock tablet
  • 1 can of unsweetened coconut milk
  • 3 tbsp of chopped fresh coriander
  • one whole Mme Jeanette chili pepper (don’t cut!)
  • 1 sweet plantain
  • 2 tbsp cane sugar
  • small bottle of rum (e.g. 20cl)
  • clove of garlic, crushed
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 5 twigs of fresh thyme
  • 250 gr shrimps
  • salt and black pepper


  • Fill a pan with the diced pumpkin, diced sweet potatoes, diced tomatoes and add water till it’s below water level
  • Bring to boil
  • Add the coconut milk, ginger, bay leafs, coriander, cinnamon sticks and chicken stock tablet and let boil till the pumpkin and potato is soft, let cool down
  • In a baking pan, stir fry the shrimps with the garlic and onions till pinkish
  • season the shrimp with salt and black pepper
  • Then pour approx 3 tbsp of rum to deglace the shrimps and let the shrimp simmer in the rum until the sauce thickens
  • Add the thyme leafs, stir and let rest
  • Discard the bay leafs and cinnamon sticks from the soup
  • Pour the soup into a blender, and blend until you have a creamy substance
  • Pour the soup back into the pan, and add the whole chili pepper.
  • Bring to simmer.
  • Add the sugar and pour in a good splash of rum
  • Let the soup simmer for 10 min and discard the chilli pepper
  • The soup is now ready to serve
  • Cut the sweet plantain in slices and fry in a pan
  • Serve the soup with the shrimp and sweet plantain

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