French onion pumpkin soup

I have half a mind not to say this for fear of immediately jinxing it, but… I have been having just the most delightful of all falls! Seriously, the Dutch weather gods are on their A game. It’s all sunshine and crisp, chilly air, and brightly coloured falling leaves, and general merriment out there. And in here it’s scented candles, copious amounts of tea, lots and lots of cooking, and the truest sign that it’s fall: Gilmore Girls! (Anyone else?)

pumpkin soup, vegetarian french onion soup

Much more so than new year’s, the start of fall tends to feel like a fresh start to me. When I was a kid going to back to school, this meant swearing to myself that I would keep all of my school notes tidy, and that I would under no circumstances doodle in the margins, and that I would have all of my homework done ahead of schedule, and that I would enjoy all of my classes…

And then by the second week of school my notebook would be covered in drawings and I’d be hastily finishing my homework in the bus. But still!

Nowadays I no longer go to school, but there’s still something in the air that’s got me feeling productive and excited and ready to seize any opportunity. September was actually a pretty big break in my freelancing life – the biggest break I’ve had since the month of May! – so so far, Autumn is really living up to my romanticized expectations. (Expect whining about the rain shortly!)

pumpkin soup, vegetarian french onion soup

french onion pumpkin soup, vegetarian recipe

This French onion pumpkin soup isn’t a quick one – if you’re after soup in a hurry, check out my lemony lentil soup or my zucchini soup – but if you’ve got the time, it is so so SO delicious and comforting and indulgent. (By the by: you could cheat and use jarred caramelized onions, and nobody would know the difference.)

For extra indulgence, you could also turn the little Gruyère croutes into full-on grilled cheese sandwiches. I’m just saying.

French onion pumpkin soup

Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Yield: 4-6 bowls

French onion pumpkin soup

This French onion pumpkin soup is an autumnal take on a classic favourite.


1 small pumpkin, seeds removed, peeled & cubed (6 cups)
6 yellow onions, thinly sliced
4 tbsp butter
4 tbsp white wine (or water), for deglazing
2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves (or substitute 1 tbsp dry thyme) + extra for serving
6 cups vegetable stock
French crusty bread (baguette)
grated Gruyère cheese


1. Over a low heat, caramelize the onions in the butter with a generous pinch of salt. You don't have to keep too close a watch, but give them a stir on occasion and, if they start to brown too quickly, lower the heat: the onions shouldn't brown at all in the first 10ish minutes, but rather should start to lose a lot of moisture. Because there are a lot of onions this will take between 45 minutes to an hour, depending on how deeply you want them to be caramelized.
2. Once the onions have caramelized the way you want them to, sprinkle in the thyme and a pinch of salt, stir, and let cook for another 30 seconds to 1 minute.
3. Deglaze the pan with the white wine and use a wooden spoon to scrape any delicious caramelized bits off the bottom. Let reduce for 3-4 minutes.
4. Add the cubed pumpkin and the stock. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Cover and let cook for about 20 minutes, or until you can stick a knife into the pumpkin and pull it out again without any trouble.
5. Remove from the heat and blend with a hand blender. (You can also use a regular blender, but do it in batches and wait for the soup to cool slightly to avoid any explosions!)
6. When you're ready to serve, pop some slices of French bread under the broiler with grated Gruyère until it melts and bubbles. Serve the soup with the cheesy bread and a sprinkle of fresh thyme. Enjoy!