Pumpkin Soup | Turkish Eats

This is a classic soup with a very rich palate of flavors. The kind of pumpkin used in Turkish cooking is denser and sweeter than the Halloween pumpkins. We find the Cabocha pumpkin a much better substitute. Another good alternative is the butternut squash, which is what we typically use for this recipe.


  • 1 butternut squash (~ 1.5 lbs of flesh)
  • 2 large onions
  • 1 large leek
  • 4 large garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 pints chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon honey (or sugar)
  • 4 tablespoons whole milk yogurt for garnish


  1. Remove and discard the first layer of the leek. Slice it into 1/2 inch cylinders and leave the slices in cold water to loosen the dirt between the layers. If you do not do this right, it can be a real nuisance while you are enjoying your soup.
  2. Slice the butternut squash into small wedges, discard the seeds and peel the skins.
  3. Chop the onions finely.
  4. Chop the garlic finely.
  5. Remove the leek cylinders from the water, wash them under plenty of running water - make sure they are very clean and then chop them finely. Save a small portion to use as garnish.
  6. Melt the butter in your soup pan, sautee the chopped onions, leek and garlic at medium heat.
  7. Add the spices, honey and the butternut squash pieces.
  8. Pour in the chicken broth.
  9. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce, the heat, cover and let it simmer for 40 minutes or until the pumpkin pieces are soft.
  10. Pass the soup through a sieve. You can also use a hand blender or a stand-up blender to achieve the desired consistency.
  11. Melt a little butter on a pan, soften the chopped leek in the butter.
  12. Pour the soup into individual bowls, swirl a teaspoon of the yourt in each bowl, add a little of the butter/leek mixture and serve hot.

From Salı Pazarı, Istanbul Turkey; Copyright Perver Baran.

© Mehmet Ozturk 2017