Ancho Pumpkin Soup

Ancho pepper is mild – merely a tickle on the taste buds in terms of spiciness – but there’s plenty of flavor behind this Mexican chili. It’s smoky, earthy, and a little sweet – all of which are perfectly paired with the flavors in pumpkin. This is one soup the whole family can enjoy, and those that like “spiced” pumpkin dishes will undoubtedly feel at home with the touches of cinnamon and cumin to boot.

As a twist on the recipe, consider using maple syrup instead of brown sugar. It doubles down on the sweetness of the soup. You can also use a different dried chili to change the overall heat and flavor. For instance, you can use chipotle pepper to deliver medium heat and smokiness to the soup.

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Ancho Pumpkin Soup

Ancho Pumpkin Soup

Mild, earthy, and sweet
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Appetizer, Soup
Servings 4 servings
Calories 209 kcal


  • 4 cups water
  • 3 cups canned pumpkin
  • 1 red apple peeled and chopped
  • 1 ancho pepper crumbled (or 1 1/2 tablespoon of ancho powder)
  • 1 yellow onion medium-sized, sliced
  • 1/4 cup shelled pumpkin seeds additional for topping
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • Salt to taste
  • Creme fraiche as a topping


  • In a large pot over medium heat, melt the butter.
  • Add the onion and shelled pumpkin seeds to the butter and saute them until the onion is translucent (8 to 10 minutes). Stir often, adding the ancho pepper to the mix in the last minute (if using ancho powder add it during next step). 
  • Add the water, canned pumpkin, apple, black pepper, and cumin. Stir well to combine.
  • Increase the heat to high and bring the mix to a boil, then lower heat to medium. Allow the soup to simmer, uncovered, for 25 to 30 minutes.
  • Using an immersion blender, blend the soup until smooth. Add the brown sugar and salt (feel free to add more to taste).
  • Ladle the soup into bowls, then top with a dollop of creme fraiche and/or pumpkin seeds (fresh or toasted). Serve immediately.


Want it sweeter? Try using maple syrup instead of brown sugar. Want it earthier? Add more cumin. Want it spicier? Opt for chipotle powder instead of ancho powder. Chipotle peppers provide smokiness (though with less sweetness) like ancho peppers and are at least double the spiciness.


Calories: 209kcalCarbohydrates: 31gProtein: 5gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 17mgSodium: 33mgPotassium: 678mgFiber: 10gSugar: 16gVitamin A: 31145IUVitamin C: 15mgCalcium: 79mgIron: 4mg
Keyword Ancho Pepper
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UPDATE NOTICE: This post was updated on December 4, 2022 to include new content.
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