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Pumpkin (or Butternut) Soup with Kefir and Poppy Seeds

You can make this soup with fresh pumpkin, or butternut squash. Kefir is a gut-friendly dairy produce, but you can swirl fresh cream or sour cream through this soup, too. If you’re vegan, you can follow exactly the same recipe, but swap the kefir for some vegan/soy yoghurt instead and be sure to use a vegan-friendly, vegetable stock.


Aside from being packed full of fresh veggies, most of the other ingredients you’ll find in the store cupboard – red lentils, stock, a tin of tomatoes or passata and since I had a packet of poppy seeds open from making a Plum and Poppy Seed traybake, I sprinkled some over the finished soup, but the roasted seeds or any other seeds would be nice too.

leftover pumpkin soup with kefir


leftover pumpkin soup with kefir

Pumpkin Soup with Kefir and Poppy Seeds

Ren Behan
Whip up this simple and healthy seasonal pumpkin soup (or use squash) for the perfect autumnal bowl of comfort for lunch or as a light supper. Add a drizzle of kefir for a dose of healthy probiotic and a sprinkle of poppy seeds for a bit of crunch.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 14 minutes
Total Time 24 minutes
Servings 6 servings


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 white onions peeled, halved
  • 700 g pumpkin or squash peeled, de-seeded and chopped into cubes
  • 2 carrots peeled, chopped
  • 1 stick celery washed
  • 200 g/1 cup red lentils
  • 1 x 400g tin tomatoes or tomato passata
  • 1 litre vegetable or chicken stock
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  • 200 ml kefir cultured milk drink or use natural yoghurt
  • 1 tsp poppy seeds per bowl


  • Take a large 24cm pan or stock pot, add the olive oil and heat. Add the onions and fry until slightly softened and golden brown.
  • Add the pumpkin, carrots and celery, stir well and continue to cook for 5 minutes.  
  • Add the red lentils, tomatoes/passata and stock to the pan. Ensure everything is covered with stock, if not, add a cupful more of water.
  • Bring to the boil and simmer gently for 20 minutes until all the vegetables are soft (the carrots will take the longest to cook).
  • Season well with sea salt and black pepper.
  • Allow the soup to cool a little and then use a stick blender to blend the soup, or transfer into a jug blender (you may need to blend in two batches)
  • Serve the soup with a drizzle of kefir and sprinkle over some poppy seeds, or other seeds of your choice.

You may like:

Beetroot and Kale Soup with Almond Crumble

Spiced Pumpkin, Carrot and Sweet Potato Soup by Helen at Fuss Free Flavours

Polish Forest Mushroom Soup 


Thank you to Jude for the pretty napkins from Anthropolgie which were a book launch gift – I love them. 

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  1. Hey Ren, I just stumbled upon this recipe and it looks fantastic. I would have never thought to put kefir and poppy seeds into pumpkin soup, but I bet it adds a citrusy zip. Will try this week!

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