Hearty Baked Pumpkin Soup

When I was a little girl, my father decided he wanted to try out this recipe because it had been recommended to him by a colleague. I had always known that my father had a soft spot for any food with a ton of butter and/or cream in it, so it came as no surprise that this soup (does it even count as a soup?) appealed to him. At the time, we used the original recipe by Paul Bocuse, the celebrity chef, which called for even more Gruyere cheese and about half a liter of heavy cream. Although it was absolutely delicious, it was hard to eat more than one small bowl of it at a time, because it was so filling.

So I thought to myself, why don’t I try to recreate this recipe, but with a more reasonable calorie count? It still doesn’t compare to a salad in that respect, but you can now eat seconds of this soup without awful regrets.

Calorie-related matters aside, the way this soup is served – in the pumpkin shell – is easily as decorative as a Thanksgiving turkey. Or why not use this as a centerpiece at your upcoming Halloween buffet? I hope you enjoy making this as much as I did!


  • One 2-2½ kg pumpkin, preferably with thick sides
  • 400-1000 ml broth/bouillon (estimate according to size of the pumpkin)
  • 150 ml cream
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 c. sourdough croutons (dry-toasted in a pan on medium-high heat)
  • 100 g Gruyere cheese, grated
  • Salt and black pepper


  • Carefully cut off the top of the pumpkin (to make a lid) and scoop out the seeds and stringy bits. Then place the pumpkin in a large baking tray. 
  • In a medium pot, bring the bouillon and cream to a simmer with the garlic, giving the mix an occasional whisk. Then set aside to infuse for 20 mins. 
  • Preheat oven to 200 C or 400 F. 
  • Layer the croutons and Gruyere in the pumpkin cavity. Sprinkle with seasonings and pour in the bouillon and cream mixture. Put the pumpkin lid on and cook in the oven for about 1-1½ hours until tender when pierced (towards the top, or it will leak!), covering with kitchen foil if browning too much. 
  • Carefully transfer the hot pumpkin to a large plate and remove the lid. Then (also carefully) detach some of the flesh with a sharp knife or a large scoop and mix it into the soup, preferably with an immersion blender. 
  • Serve in the center of the table with a ladle. Have sharp knives available (to cut off the pumpkin). 

Adapted from http://www.hueyskitchen.com.au/recipes/3880/paul-bocuses-pumpkin-soup)

Text and photo by Lara Friedrich

Lara has been a freelance illustrator for Mothering Matters since early 2013. She is in her fourth year of university (majoring in psychology) where she’s currently working as an assistant in a research project in pedagogy. Lara is also an assistant translator from German to English for various fiction books and works as a demo singer for the songwriter Kate Northrop. Lara’s Instagram  has occasional food posts.

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