Pumpkin Curry Soup Appetizer

Pumpkin soup appetizer is a rich and delicious starter course for fall parties. This make-ahead recipe has canned pumpkin, curry, a hint of honey, and evaporated milk for a creamy flavorful dish. Serve it as a soup shot paired with easy stuffing balls.

soup appetizers in mini cups on white plate with stuffing balls on the side.

Soup Shots

If you want a light soup course for Thanksgiving, this curry pumpkin soup is the perfect starter to the holiday meal. It’s got lots of flavor and a spicy kick.

I like to serve it in mini cups because they have a handle and they’re made to hold hot liquid. That way you have soup shooters ready to sip.

Add the easy stuffing balls on the side for a soup appetizer your guests will love!

overhead view of hand grabbing a mini cup of pumpkin soup topped with pepitas and fried sage leaf.

Since holiday meals are already filling, a small shot sized cup of soup is just right to get you started. Use demitasse cups or shot glasses to serve these in. This butternut squash soup recipe is also terrific served this way.

When to Serve It

  • Make this yummy recipe for a Friendsgiving party.
  • This smooth silky soup is a welcome addition to a soup bar. Make it ahead for best flavor!
  • Serve this pumpkin soup as a first course or side dish to a fall dinner party.
  • Turn this pumpkin soup into a meal by ladling it into bowls and accompanying with grilled cheese tartines, a sandwich, or salad.
  • Put them in mini cups like I did here and serve them as a welcome soup shooter for a soup dinner party.
  • These make an elegant party appetizer for a fall or winter cocktail party too. Add the stuffing balls on the side. They can be dipped into the soup for a tasty bite, but also benefit from the berry drizzle. 
overhead view of appetizer plates and mini cups of orange fall soup and stuffing balls.

How to Make It

See full instructions in recipe card below, but here are the simple steps.

  1. Melt butter in a large sauce pan and cook mushroom and onions until soft.
  2. Stir in flour, curry, and chicken broth and cook for a few minutes before adding the pumpkin, honey, salt and nutmeg.
  3. Cook for 10 minutes and then stir in evaporated milk. Remove from heat and let cool slightly before adding to a blender.
  4. Process the soup until it’s smooth and silky. Release heat and steam if needed, by propping the lid open slightly during blending.

Make-Ahead

Most soups taste better when they’re made ahead. This allows all the flavors to fully blend together so it becomes smooth and developed.

Prepare the soup and let it cool. Cover it and put it in the refrigerator overnight and reheat when ready to serve.

overhead view of 8 mini cups with orange soup inside.
overhead view of mini stuffing balls stacked on each other.

What to Serve with Pumpkin Soup

Top the pumpkin soup with a garnish of fried sage and roasted pumpkin seeds.

  • Fried sage leaves. Crispy fried sage leaves are one of my favorite garnishes, especially for the holidays. They’re SO tasty and become light as air when fried in vegetable oil for about 30 seconds. Remove and drain on a paper towel, and sprinkle with sea salt.
  • Roasted pumpkin seeds. Also known as pepitas, these are the perfect soup topper. Lightly toast them in a 375 degree oven for about 5 minutes. Watch closely to make sure they don’t burn.
  • Stuffing balls. These take pumpkin soup appetizers to the next level. Simply prepare a box of stuffing mix like Stove Top brand, according to package directions. Let it cool to the touch and roll into bite-size balls, squeezing them so they are packed tightly. Bake for 10 minutes until golden, and serve.
  • Cranberry sauce. Elevate the stuffing balls to holiday status by drizzling a bit of warm cranberry sauce over the top. I highly recommend this!

PARTY TIP: Prepare this sauce as an alternative to the cranberry sauce: combine equal parts dark cherries in syrup with raspberry (or other berry) jam. Combine over medium low heat and then drizzle it over the stuffing balls.

orange soup in white bowl on fall place setting, overhead.

As an alternative to mini cups, serve pumpkin soup in bowls for a sit down starter course.

More Soup Recipes

For a spring and summer soup appetizer, you can make chilled raspberry soup. It’s great for a spring ladies luncheon!

Want to make a heartier soup recipe for dinner? Here are some tried and true recipes you can make in the slow cooker.

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Pumpkin Curry Soup Recipe

Pumpkin Curry Soup Recipe

Yield: about 24 appetizers or 8 bowls
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

Curry pumpkin soup & stuffing balls is a fun appetizer for fall parties. It’s a delicious starter or side dish for dinner parties, and a welcome addition to a soup bar. The taste and presentation are so festive for holiday entertaining too.

Ingredients

  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 (8-ounce) package fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tablespoon curry powder
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups canned pumpkin
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 (12-ounce) can fat free evaporated milk

STUFFING BALLS

  • 1 box stuffing mix (I used Stove Top)
  • Prepared whole berry cranberry sauce

Instructions

  1. Melt butter in a medium sauce pan and add mushrooms and onion; saute until tender.
  2. Stir in flour, curry, and chicken broth. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, for 5- 10 minutes.
  3. Stir in pumpkin, honey, salt and nutmeg. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes. Stir in milk and remove from heat to allow to cool slightly.
  4. Transfer mixture to a blender and process until smooth and silky in texture. Place back into saucepan and heat thoroughly before serving.
  5. Garnish with roasted pumpkin seeds and a fried sage leaf. 

FOR THE STUFFING BALLS:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Prepare stuffing according to package directions. Let cool slightly until easy to handle.
  3. Using a mini scoop or large spoon, scoop the stuffing into your hand and roll into the shape of a ball, about 1 1/4 inches in size. The moisture in the stuffing will hold them together. Place on a baking sheet.
  4. Bake for about 10 minutes or until golden and toasty on the outside.
  5. Meanwhile, warm the cranberry sauce on medium low or in the microwave for 60-90 seconds, stirring occasionally.
  6. Serve stuffing balls with the cranberry sauce lightly drizzled over top.

Notes

Fry fresh sage leaf in a shallow pan of vegetable oil for about 30 seconds, turning once. Remove and drain on paper towel. Sprinkle with sea salt.

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39 Comments

  1. My tip is to have a one-bite appetizers and desserts bar, your guests will have more options to choose from and there will be less waste… and less dishes and mess to clean up after 🙂

  2. My smart entertaining tips:
    * When having a party serve finger foods
    * Forget about disposable plates, cups, utensils
    * Use your party food leftovers as part of your everyday menus

  3. I take the bite size food trend to heart, from appetizers to desserts i have everything bite size and gave guest 3 options for each course and everyone is stuffed at the end of the night

  4. Take those Halloween pumpkins and eat them! It’s so easy to roast the flesh and seeds, what’s less wasteful than eating your decor!?

  5. I love to entertain a crowd at home with turkey chili or tortilla soup! I think it’s easy, great on cold days and so hearty too.

  6. Menu planning helps me plan ahead and avoid wasting food, especially during the holidays. Soups and casseroles are my favorite because you can always find a way to incorporate the leftover veggies, meat or cheeses.

  7. I often have a group over whether its a group of kids afterschool or friends visiting or stopping by.I throw very few items which helps me to always have food on hand to whip up a snack or meal. I freeze fruit that is about to go bad and make smoothies, I freeze veggies and later add them to soups but one of my favorite ways to be sure to have a meal in minutes is to steam up extra rice. I can use the extra rice to make a quick fried rice with veggies and soy sauce or make a quick Spanish rice by adding salsa, peas and even chicken to make it a meal in minutes !

  8. I like to create 3-4 delicious yet simple appetizers. My guest have options but not too many that it overwhelms everyone. Mini mac and cheese cups are a HUGE hit. Also if you have a baby or know someone who does you can save the mini glass jars where the baby food comes in and use them as a mini “mason jar” and can place a salad in them

  9. First, I LOVE your stuffing balls!!! I’m absolutely copying that for Christmas dinner!
    I use Dollar Tree foil containers with lids (and a label) to send leftovers home with guests. Very cost effective and not wasteful!

  10. I love using leftovers to make soup & sandwiches! The best part of Thanksgiving is the Turkey Soup & Sandwhiches! Leftover Chicken is fabulous for soup or even tasty Chicken Salad Sandwiches.

  11. I love baking in pastry cups because they aren’t messy, are hand held, and don’t require a utensil or even a plate.

  12. This is my go to favorite Crock Pot holiday party recipe….super simple. One can of Ocean Spray cranberry sauce, One jar of Tostitos salsa, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1 bag of party meatballs….put the sauces and sugar into a crock pot, stir to combine, then add the meatballs and stir until coated. Cover and cook on high for 3 hours…..thank me lay-tah!!!!!

  13. Keep the menu simple but delicious. Having too many appetizer/food options is a recipe for too much leftovers! ;

  14. One of my favorite go-to ideas for less waste (and clean-up) during holiday meals is preparing soup in bread bowls! Eat the soup, then eat the bowl! No bowls needed. 🙂

  15. Although I hate going to the grocery store, I find I waste so much less when I go a couple of times a week. Specifically for produce. In the past I stock up on fruits and veggies and often they end up going to waste. Heading to a local (and close) grocery store 2-3 times a week helps my food taste better and I waste so much less.

  16. I always try to use silverware, glasses and ceramic plates, evening for large family gatherings or outdoor festivities to reduce the amount of waste.

  17. I like to use environment friendly serving pieces at our kids parties instead of grabbing paper products. I have a set of melamine plates, plastic cups and wooden utensils that are biodegradable. I find investing in simple serving pieces that I can use over and over again is smarter entertaining and better for the environment.

  18. I have moved away from paper/plastic plates and disposable utensils, and instead use mason jars, vintage plates and mismatched silverware to keep waste down and keep it pretty. I try to keep menus simple, yet still flavorful, and recycle or repurpose everything I can.

  19. SO yummy- I have finally stopped over cooking for my events. There used to be so much leftover food that drove my husband crazy. I’m much better at fixing the right amount

  20. that looks delicious! When I entertain, I try to keep the dishes delicious – but also focused and simple so that I can avoid wasting food the I bought just for that specific recipe. I’m also the queen of re-inventing leftovers the next day so they don’t go to waste!

  21. I’m all about making as much as I can the days before the big event. My freezer is my best friend!

  22. I tend to make too much food for buffets. So I plan my menu and then set out all my trays with post-it notes about what I think will go in what. The visual usually brings me back to earth.

  23. I love making soup, especially with a leftover meat from a large meal like Thanksgiving, turkey soup anyone?

  24. I like to reuse mason jars and grocery store Starbucks Frappuccino glass bottles to serve beverages in at parties!

  25. I always think about how much food I THINK I’ll need for entertaining and then decrease it. Otherwise, I’m always left with tons of leftovers that will eventually just go to waste.

  26. I try to think of creative ways to use the little bits of cereal we have when the boys get bored with a box and move on to the next one. Cereal crumbs make great coatings for chicken, toppings for ice cream or worked in to dessert somehow.

  27. For less waste in entertaining I like to serve food in edible “containers” like stuffed cherry tomatoes, zucchini boats, etc. (And, I am making this soup..sounds delish!)

  28. I like to bake single serve desserts. Saves from having to use forks, knives and the water to wash them and I can bake more at once so it saves energy too.

  29. I use my slow cooker to create pasta or soups. Let them simmer all day and it smells great and tastes wonderful.

  30. I love doing chicken breasts with Italian dressing in my slow cooker. It’s easy to make and everyone loves it!

  31. I always produce more than enough, but make sure it’s something that will make wonderful leftovers for our family.

  32. Throwing meat, potatoes, and carrots into the crock pot for a yummy pot roast creates little waste and is simple and easy to make.

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