Meatless Monday: Savory Pumpkin Soup with Green Tea

011One of my favorite genres of food is Thai. The Compatriot took me to a Burmese restaurant in San Francisco recently called Burmese Superstar, and it was pretty scrumptious. From what I could gather, Burmese food is sort of like Thai, but with squash and tea scented stuff. (My impression may not be accurate.)

But on my return home, I couldn’t find very many savory pumpkin soup recipes. There are a few, but they require lots of prep and batches of soup puree. Besides, I had a can of pureed pumpkin left over from Thanksgiving. My roommates aren’t fond of single-texture soup. And I like to cook things that everyone wants to eat. So I wanted a savory pumpkin broth with green tea and vegetables. This is not Burmese, exactly. Let’s call it fusion.

Time: ~45 minutes

Serves: 4-6


  • 6 cups vegetable broth (I didn’t have vegetable broth, so I used 6 cups water + a few tablespoons of ginger simmer sauce. Worked like a charm.)
  • 1 can organic pumpkin puree
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 6-8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 carrots, chopped
  • 4 large mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon matcha powder, or 3 green tea bags
  • Splash rice vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • One cake extra-firm tofu (optional: I know some people have issues with soy. If you leave it out, I suggest doubling the mushrooms to make the soup hearty enough)
  • 2 sheets nori (optional but highly recommended)
  • Mild goat cheese or other mild, creamy cheese (leave out for vegan or if you’re like the Male Compatriot and just don’t like it)


Sautee the onions and garlic in a frying pan with coconut oil (any oil will work, but coconut oil gives the best fragrance to this soup) until the onions are translucent, and take off of heat. Meanwhile, heat the 6 cups broth over high heat, adding in the pumpkin puree and stirring frequently. When the soup is at a boil, lower the heat, add the carrots and simmer for ~5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and tofu, if using, and simmer for ~5 more minutes, or until the carrots are desired texture. While simmering, add salt, pepper, any spice (I advise against using Sriracha because of its super strong flavor) and a splash of rice vinegar, tasting frequently.

When the carrots are tender to your liking, turn off the heat and add a tablespoon of matcha powder and stir. Alternatively, 3 green tea bags will work if you don’t want to buy a substance worth its weight in gold. Or black tea bags, for that matter, though this will give a different taste. Crumble a couple of nori sheets over the pot and serve with cheese crumbled into each individual bowl.


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