Pumpkin and Yam Soup with Spiced Crème Fraîche

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

A great soup for fall--almost a subtle take on pumpkin pie--this combines the deep flavor of yams with the lighter vegetable taste of pumpkin. It has a burnished orange color, and the subtle hint of cinnamon is reinforced by a spicy crème fraîche garnish.

NotesOrder of preparation:

• Prepare the soup.

• Prepare the spiced crème fraîche.

Make-ahead notes:

• Crème fraîche can be refrigerated up to 10 days, or substitute a good-quality purchased crème fraîche.

• The spiced crème fraîche can be refrigerated up to 24 hours.

• The soup can be refrigerated up to 3 days; do not freeze.

Makes3 quarts, or 12 servings


Total Timeunder 2 hours

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Kid FriendlyYes

One Pot MealYes

OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Family Get-together

Recipe Courseappetizer, main course

Dietary Considerationegg-free, gluten-free, halal, peanut free, soy free

Equipmentblender, food processor

Five Ingredients or LessYes

Mealdinner, lunch


Taste and Texturecreamy, rich, savory, spiced, sweet

Type of Dishhot soup, soup


  • ½ cup Crème Fraîche
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1½ pounds yams (about 3 medium), peeled and cut into 1½-inch cubes
  • 1¾ pounds peeled pumpkin, cut into 1½-inch cubes
  • 8 cups Chicken Stock or low-salt canned chicken broth, plus an extra 2 cups, if needed
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 1½ cups crème fraîche or heavy cream, heated to just below boiling
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. For the spiced crème fraîche:

  2. Combine the crème fraîche, cloves, ginger, and cinnamon in a small bowl, beat until the mixture forms stiff peaks, and reserve.

  3. For the soup:

  4. In the pot, the stock should cover the vegetables by about 1½ inches. Yams thicken the soup (pumpkin alone wouldn’t do it) and no other thickener is needed.

  5. Place the yams and pumpkin in a large pot over medium-high heat, cover with 8 cups of the chicken stock, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium, cover, and simmer until tender, about 45 minutes.

  6. Pour the cooked vegetables and stock into a food processor or blender and puree until it has the consistency of heavy cream. Strain through a fine strainer and return to the saucepan. Add the spices, heated crème fraîche, and additional stock if needed to thin. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately, garnished with a dollop of spiced crème fraîche.

  7. Variations:

  8. Make with all yams and no pumpkin or all or part butternut squash.

  9. Delete the crème fraîche for a less rich soup.

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This soup is delicious and super easy! I added a pinch of cayenne pepper to the creme fraiche topping and 1/4 tsp of ground ginger and 1/8 tsp cayenne to the soup. It's plenty thick without the extra creme fraiche in the soup itself. Highly recommend this recipe.


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