Vegan Pumpkin & Sweet Potato Soup with Foraged Mushrooms

in Plant Power (Vegan)2 months ago (edited)

Hey there friends! Long time no write. ;) I hope if you are reading this today that all is well in your world. Things are well on my end. Staying busy with work and even squeezed in a little vacation, and of course--lots of cooking! I missed the farmers market for about a month between my time off and Saturday work schedule, but this past week I was so happy to finally get back to visit my farmers and see what's growing here in Georgia at the moment.

As is also usual--I probably purchased too much. Though in reality, there's no such thing when I will make sure to use every last scrap of local goodness! I may have to freeze a few things, but at least then when I have another busy stretch I'll have plenty of goodies left even if I can't go to the market. This time of year is a glorious one for multiple reasons, but in particular I adore some of the seasonal produce!

Squash in all forms ranks high up on the list. Butternut, Acorn, Jarrahdale, Candy Roaster--there's so many varieties! We try to grow some in our own garden, however my local farmers have plenty to keep us in stock when our own little plot isn't providing. This week I got to try a new type of pumpkin: Seminole.

My farmer, Pinewood Springs, said they've done a hybrid of Seminole with their usual butternut squash variety this year for better pest control. I had never tried the Seminole pumpkin itself, so I was excited that they had both the hybrid and the pumpkin. Despite having one of my own butternuts from the garden ready to cook and a gorgeous Jarrahdale from the apple market, I had to grab one to try. It still amazes me how different each variety can be in taste and even texture.

This squash is quite hearty, with a fairly thick skin. The flesh was a rich orange that just makes you want to dive right in and enjoy. I butchered the top half to use for my soup, then roasted the bottom half to puree and make muffins. Along with my Seminole pumpkin, I also snagged some different mushrooms. I love my mushroom lady and her cultivated shrooms, but it's also exciting to see some rarer foraged mushrooms at her table. Don't worry vegans, these Honey Mushrooms don't actually contain any "honey."

I have never seen this variety before, let alone tried them. They looked similar in size and texture to my beloved Chestnut mushrooms, so I thought they would be great to bring home and try!

Don't they look so inviting? The weather lately has been very conducive to lots of mushroom growth, so she had quite a good harvest of foraged mushrooms. As always, only purchase foraged mushrooms from an expert who knows how to differentiate from poisonous or inedible varieties. Honey mushrooms do have some look-alikes. This article has some great information about them. Apparently they can cause some gastrointestinal distress in some people, but we had no adverse effects from eating them. The tip from that article was to cook them well, so I made sure to sauté mine for plenty of time.

They made a fantastic garnish for my pumpkin soup. I make a pureed squash soup regularly during this time of year. There are so many ways to change up the seasonings and other ingredients so that it is slightly different each time. This one pulled inspiration from the East--with curry powder, cumin, ginger and a few hot peppers for some kick. Golden lentils are perfect in this type of soup to add body and plenty of plant-based protein. We ate all the mushrooms in the first bowl, but the leftovers will still be delicious all week!

Pumpkin & Sweet Potato Soup

Makes Approximately 8 Servings

  • 4 cups cubed, peeled pumpkin or other orange-fleshed squash
  • 3 cups cubed sweet potato
  • 1 small onion, peeled & chopped
  • 2 small hot chilis (I used jalapeno), de-seeded & minced
  • 1 heaping teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground fenugreek (optional--most curry powder already has fenugreek and turmeric, but I like adding a bit extra)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • pinch of cayenne
  • 8 cups water or low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 cups golden or red split lentils, rinsed
  • 8 ounces honey or other mushrooms, cleaned & larger caps halved or quartered into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon low-sodium tamari or liquid aminos

Heat a large stockpot over medium heat. Add the onions and hot peppers. Sauté for 5-7 minutes, or until the mixture starts to soften. Stir occasionally, adding a few tablespoons of water as needed to prevent sticking.

Next add in all of the seasonings and cook for a minute before adding in the pumpkin and sweet potato. Stir together, then add in the lentils and water or broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Partially cover and cook for 30 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft and the lentils are cooked through.

When the soup is just about done, start preparing your mushroom garnish. Place a medium skillet over medium heat. Drizzle in the sesame oil then add in the mushrooms. Stir occasionally, cooking for 10-15 minutes or until your mushrooms are to your desired doneness. Stir in the tamari and remove from heat.

Once the soup is cooked through, let cool slightly then blend with a stick blender or in batches in a traditional blender. Taste and adjust seasonings to your liking. Serve in a bowl with the mushrooms as a garnish. Enjoy!

Like I mentioned above, I make soups like these frequently (like this slow cooker butternut squash and cauliflower one or another variation in the Wonderbag), but it never hurts to have another one in the arsenal! That's one of the great things about soup--you can find those tried and true "perfect" recipes, or you can continue to change up your recipe each time you make it. There's no wrong way to find what you enjoy cooking!

What are your favorite ways to use seasonal squash?

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I do like it roast with dukkah and coconut yoghurt!!

Great to see a post from you.. I do love a pumpkin soup!

Mmmm, I always seem to forget about using the plant-based yogurts in meals for some reason. I need to remember to give it a try! Especially in this, or a homey borscht.

Happy to have had the time to get this up! Perhaps the incoming colder season will allow me to slow down and get back on here a little more regularly. Maybe. 😂

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That soup looks and sounds and surely tastes heavenly!

Thank you Vincent! It was good enough to want to lick the bowl clean. 😋

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Only to want to do it or did you actually do it? ;<)

We've just did the same, but minus the mushrooms, of course duuuh brilliant idea! I don't think I would be confident enough that it's the Honey mushrooms I've found, and not another poisonous specie.

My hand went heavy on the cayenne pepper, so I added coconut milk and creme fraiche to counter balance the other day 😄.


Haha, that cayenne is easy to overdo! I've done that a time or two, so I tend to be overly cautious now. Especially when using fresh hot peppers because it's always a surprise if they'll be super spicy or mild.

I definitely leave the foraging to the experts for now. I would love to eventually take a course or something, but don't know enough to ensure proper identification at the moment. Luckily I have my mushroom lady and another farmer who both know their stuff!

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mushroom is my favourite, but in india we get mushroom only in winter, 'm happy that winter is coming🤗 your mushroon soup looks so yummy n decilious, thanks for sharing your recipe, i will try it than comment you back how it was.


Yay for mushroom season! I think the Autumn here is the best, but I need to learn more about what comes out when.

So glad you enjoy this mixture! Definitely let me know if you give it a try!

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OMG, I'm salivating over those mushrooms! I need to remember the combination of butternut with sweet potato. I already do a sweet potato with lentils and Thai flavouring. I do have to get organised with what we're growing and now that we are back in a kinda normal rain cycle, that will help. Natural water (aka rain) as opposed to irrigation - even in generous quantities from the borehole - makes a huge difference. Speaking's time to think about supper... lol

Yum, yum! Sweet potatoes and butternut are a perfect pair, in my opinion. Similar, but still quite different. Can't wait to see what you and Tom get growing as we settle into the colder, bleak months here. Of course I'll be jealous, but always gives inspiration when the seasons change yet again.

Yip, that works both ways. I shouldn't moan: we wouldn't get the same pleasure from the "new" crops if we had them all year round would we?

Pumpkin and sweet potato soup, sometimes with coconut milk coconut, and spices. It is delicious! The other way is with one apple chopped up - my family likes that one too. We are huge squash eaters and will try them almost any way.

I love that nice little hybrid you have and we love butternut squash all year round. :) So glad to see you posting, Katie! Oh! Those mushrooms looked absolutely divine topping the soup! I was literally salivating at the sight!

Oh yes, love it with either of those variations, too! I almost thought to do apple as we still have plenty from going to stock up a few weeks ago, but for some reason left it off this round. The good thing is there is plenty of time left in the season to do it again!

And the mushrooms truly did make a fantastic accompaniment to the bowl! I could have easily scarfed them up on their own, but it was a nice bite with the creamy soup.

The picture leaves me drooling. I'm pretty sure it's going to be a bomb. I'd love to have a taste of it someday, it's quite different from our types of soups here..

What do you eat it with?

Ooh, what kind of soups do you do there? I'm not as familiar with Nigerian cuisine, but always love to learn about foods from all over! So many ways to fill a bowl with delicious produce.

I will occasionally make a flatbread or cornbread to go with, sometimes just crackers. Or I do adore sourdough bread dipped in a creamy soup, as well! Anything to sop up every last bit of the delicious mixture.

  1. Egusi soup

  2. Vegetable soup or efo riro

  3. Ognono soup

  4. Okro soup



So, above are some of Nigerian soups. These soups mostly go with what we call "swallow" such as pounded yam, eba, semovita, amala and so on. Also, one common feature of our soups is vegetable leaves. We have vegetables of different kinds such as spinach, water leaf, bitter leaf etc. You must have also noticed from the pictures that we love fishes and meat too in Nigeria.

Looks awesome! I'll have to keep exploring all the amazing varieties all around. Most Americans eat meat and fish, as well, but so many things can be adjusted to take them out when you're like me and don't eat them. Especially when the base of the soup has so many good veggies! :)

Yes! They look awesome and taste good as well.

Here is one of my blog post on HOW TO PREPARE AFANG SOUP

You may like to check it out

Wooo que bien se ve esta receta 😋, me encanta la calabaza en cremas, hace unos días realice un pan de calabaza 👨🏻‍🍳 , viendo tus ingredientes creo que probaré, hacer uno con setas 🤔, gracias por compartir 🤗

Oh yum, I love pumpkin bread, as well! So many great ways to use pumpkins in cooking. :)

Si 😊 de hecho mi pan tiene la forma de una calabaza 😁😅 pronto haré una receta nueva, ya la tengo en mente, solo debo ejecutarla y probar 👨🏻‍🍳

Curry together with pumpkin & squash? Yes, please! 😁

I've probably said this a billion times before, but I really need to take a local foraging class or something because we have an incredible abundance of mushrooms on this property (especially this year, with the near constant rain). I even have a post almost ready to go with a ridiculous number of photos of all the different ones I found in one outing in the woods. Even some that looks like your delish looking honey mushrooms.

I'm definitely passing this recipe along to the eldest, as she's a big fan of pumpkin soup in general, and any time I make chicken curry, she is reminded she wants to figure out a vegan alternative for herself, but keeps forgetting. Hmmm, guess the apple doesn't fall far... 😂

And nice to see you in my feed again! 🤗

I bet you have a gold mine of shroomies up there! That would be a blast to get a better handle on which is which. A great way to connect with the natural world.

Hope the eldest enjoys this idea. You'll have to let me know if you remember to show it to her, haha!

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Mushroom picking was our family tradition back in Slovakia, but I never tried to go here in Canada. My sister back home still forge mushrooms, so we may go with here someday. I am sure our boys would love it. These looks absolutely amazing and your soup looks sooooo delicious. I wish I have some right now 🧡😋🧡

It really is so common back over there! Dave's mom grew up foraging in Poland, as well. I still am hesitant to go on my own here, but I'm so happy we have some great experts who come to the market!

Well, I would be too over here, lol. Unless I go with an expert. But yes, being able to buy fresh ones like these must be wonderful 😋

I think I could die if I don't get a bowl of this. I will try to survive though. What could be better then that soup itself. Well the soup with the mushrooms of course. You just introduced me to another mushroom I've never seen or heard of. They look divine!

I was hoping she'd have some more of those this week, but I think it was a one and done deal. Hopefully I'll see them again at some point since they were sooo good! Soup is on the menu over and over now... :)