Pumpkin-and-millet soup

Pumpkin-and-millet soup

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  • 6 to 8
  • Medium
  • Plant-Based Vegan recipe collection wheat and gluten free
  • 15 minutes
  • 1 hour 40 minutes
  • Ladybird Chardonnay

Cookbook author Mokgadi Itsweng remembers learning the art of making soup – the perfect act of love and care – from her mother. She shares this art with this golden delicious pumpkin-and-millet soup.


  • 4 T oil
  • 1 T ground turmeric
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 t garlic, crushed
  • 1 T fresh ginger, grated
  • 20 g fresh coriander, finely chopped
  • 20 g fresh mint, finely chopped
  • 1 medium seasonal pumpkin (top sliced off, flesh and seeds scooped out, leaving the shell intact)
  • 700–800 g pumpkin flesh, roughly chopped
  • 1 litre vegetable stock
  • 2 cups water
  • 100 g millet
  • 1x 400 ml can coconut milk
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • For the trimmings:
  • vegetable oil, for frying
  • 1 t chickpea flour
  • 1 T cornflour
  • 1 t ground turmeric
  • 1 t curry powder
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 T water
  • 200 g broccoli stems
  • 30 g pumpkin seeds
  • 40 g millet
  • pickled onions, for serving
  • root vegetable chips, for serving
  • coconut chips, for serving

Cooking Instructions

1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat, then add the turmeric and cumin. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring continuously.

2. Add the onion, garlic and ginger and cook until the onion is soft.

3. Stir in the herbs and cook for a further minute, then add the pumpkin. Cook the pumpkin in the spices for 5 minutes, stirring continuously.

4. Add the stock and cook for 20 minutes, or until the pumpkin is soft.

5. Transfer the soup to a blender and blend into a purée. Return to the saucepan, add the water and bring the soup to a slow boil, then add the millet and cook over a low to medium heat for a further 30 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes.

6. Stir in the coconut milk, lemon juice and seasoning. Add more water if necessary to loosen the soup.

7. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Place the pumpkin shell on a baking tray. Drizzle it with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

8. Pour the soup into the shell, cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil after 20 minutes to brown the shell.

9. To make the trimmings, heat 5 cm oil in a medium- sized, deep saucepan over a medium heat.

10. Mix the flours with the spices and salt, then add the water. Mix to create a smooth batter.

11. Dip the broccoli stems into the batter, then fry in batches in the hot oil for 5 minutes, or until crisp and golden. Drain on kitchen paper, season with salt and pepper and set aside until needed.

12. Toast the pumpkin seeds in a pan over a medium heat until piping hot and toasted but not smoking. Remove from the pan and set aside. Repeat with the millet.

13. Serve the soup topped with the trimmings, including the root vegetable and coconut chips, or serve the trimmings separately.

Find more vegan recipes here. 

ALSO READ: Laddles of love: Mokgadi Itsweng on the art of making soup

Photograph: Jan Ras 
Production: Bianca Strydom
Food assistant: Hannah Moerdyk


Mokgadi Itsweng Recipe by: Mokgadi Itsweng
View all recipes

Former food editor of True Love magazine, Mokgadi has worked in the food industry for more than 17 years and is the author of Veggielicious – a collection of plant-forward recipes that’ll encourage even the pickiest eater to eat more veg. She is the Creative Director and head chef for Lotsha Home Foods and a member of The Chef’s Manifesto.

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