Chipotle Peanut Pumpkin Soup with Spiced Pepitas

Chipotle Peanut Pumpkin Soup is warming, satisfying, and perfect if you’re looking for a savory application for pumpkin. I love a good pumpkin spiced coffee, but sometimes the savory side of pumpkin is neglected when it shouldn’t be!

The soup is vegan, but feel free to make substitutions as needed. I happen to love the taste of the coconut milk in this soup, but if it’s not for you, simply swap it for some heavy cream instead. Same thing goes for the broth- I’ve used vegetable broth, but chicken or beef work too. I never stress over the exact recipe for a soup… if it gets too thick, you thin it. If it gets too salty, you thin it. See a theme? It’s pretty tough to mess up!

Ingredients needed to make Chipotle Peanut Pumpkin Soup with Spiced Pepitas

This soup packs a lot of flavor and therefore requires a few more ingredients than you might typically expect. I’ve talked about chipotle peppers in adobo before, but they are one of the key ingredients to creating the smoky flavor in this soup. You can find them in most grocery stores in the international foods aisle. Other than the chipotle peppers, here’s what you’ll need:

  • Olive oil 
  • Yellow onion
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Chipotle chili peppers in adobo sauce
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Unsweetened pumpkin puree
  • Vegetable broth
  • Full-fat coconut milk
  • Coconut sugar (or brown sugar)
  • Creamy natural peanut butter (unsweetened and unsalted, if possible)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Fresh cilantro

To make the spiced pepitas, which are optional, you’ll need these items:

Tools used to make Chipotle Peanut Pumpkin Soup with Spiced Pepitas

This soup comes together quite easily and with minimal equipment. You’ll need a sharp knife, cutting board, large soup pot or Dutch oven, wooden spoon, blender, mixing bowl, and a small skillet.

How to make Chipotle Peanut Pumpkin Soup with Spiced Pepitas

Like most soups, you’ll start by sautéing your aromatic base, which in this case consists of onion, garlic, and ginger. The recipe doesn’t call for this, but you’ll obviously need to prep those ingredients ahead of time by dicing and mincing.

Next, you’ll add the chipotle peppers plus sauce, cinnamon, pumpkin, and broth. Bring everything to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for a few minutes to let all the flavors mingle. For the creamy component, you’ll want to remove the soup from the heat and add in the coconut milk, coconut sugar, and peanut butter. Just trust me on the peanut butter, it makes this soup.

Because we need to blend the soup, I usually pause at this point and make the spiced pepitas. I like to let the soup cool so it doesn’t make the blender explode from the steam. The pepitas simply get tossed with the olive oil and spices, then warmed in a dry skillet over medium heat for a few minutes.

Blend the soup using either an immersion blender or regular blender, top with the pepitas (and cilantro, if using) and serve! It’s so delicious!

Looking for other cozy recipes from The Ardent Cook?

Potato, Leek, and Corn Chowder

Stuffed Acorn Squash with Buttered Sage Breadcrumbs

Mom’s Checkerboard Chicken Chili

Recipe Ingredients

For the Soup

2 tbsp olive oil 

1 medium yellow onion, diced

4 cloves garlic, smashed

1-inch piece ginger, minced

2 chipotle chili peppers in adobo sauce, plus 2 tsp adobo sauce

½ tsp ground cinnamon

1 (14oz) can unsweetened pumpkin puree

3 cups vegetable broth

1 (14oz) can full-fat coconut milk

1 tbsp coconut sugar (or brown sugar)

¼ cup creamy natural peanut butter (unsweetened and unsalted, if possible)

Salt and pepper, to taste

Fresh cilantro, for serving 

For the Spiced Pepitas

¼ cup roasted, salted pepitas

½ tsp olive oil

⅛ tsp chipotle chili powder

⅛ tsp ground cinnamon

⅛ tsp ground nutmeg

Recipe Instructions

  1. Heat oil over medium heat in a large Dutch oven or soup pot. Add the onions, garlic, and ginger and cook until the onions are translucent, about 3 minutes. Stir frequently to avoid burning. 
  2. Add the chipotle chili peppers, adobo sauce, ground cinnamon, pumpkin, and broth. Stir to combine. Bring the soup to a simmer, then reduce the heat to medium-low and let cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
  3. Remove soup from the heat and stir in the coconut milk, sugar, and peanut butter. Season with salt and pepper. Allow the soup to cool slightly. 
  4. Meanwhile, make the spiced pepitas. Heat a dry skillet over medium heat. In a mixing bowl, combine the pepitas, olive oil, chili powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Toss to combine, then add to the hot skillet. Toss for 1 minute or so, until the seeds are warm and the spices have adhered. Set aside. 
  5. Using either an immersion blender or high-speed standing blender, blend the soup until creamy (you may need to work in batches if using a standing blender). Ladle soup into bowls and top with the pepitas and cilantro, if desired. Serve warm. 
  6. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. When reheating, be careful not to bring the soup to a boiling point. This can cause the oils in the coconut milk and peanut butter to potentially separate. Enjoy!

There may be affiliate links in this post! By purchasing a product I recommend, I may receive a small compensation. However, I only recommend products I love and use myself. Thank you for your continued support of The Ardent Cook, it does not go unnoticed.

The Ardent Prep: Caramelized Onion, Kale, and Goat Cheese Bowls with Homemade Balsamic Glaze

This is the third recipe in The Ardent Prep series “Chicken, Rice, and Caramelized Onions.” To visit the original blog post, click here. To see the other two recipes in this meal prep series, click the links at the bottom of this page. I hope you enjoy this delicious and easy recipe!


Remaining prepped rice

Remaining 1/3 prepped chicken

Remaining 1/2 prepped caramelized onions

1-2 heads kale

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 16oz bottle Balsamic vinegar

1 4oz log goat cheese, crumbled

Salt and pepper


  1. In a medium skillet, pour entire bottle of balsamic vinegar and simmer over medium heat, stirring frequently. Cook until liquid amount has reduced by two-thirds and the vinegar is thick, resembling a glaze, approximately 12 minutes. The liquid should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Set aside.
  2. Remove stems from kale and roughly chop the leaves. In a medium skillet, saute garlic in 1 TBSP olive oil until fragrant. Add kale and stir to coat in the olive oil and garlic mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste, and cook until kale is wilted.
  3. Assemble the bowls. Add rice to the bottom of a bowl and top with sliced chicken, caramelized onions, and the sauteed kale. Top with goat cheese crumbles and drizzle with balsamic glaze.
  4. Store remaining balsamic glaze in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Drizzle over roasted vegetables, use as salad dressing, or enjoy as a topping on pizza. Enjoy!

Chicken Cheesesteak Skillet

Turmeric Ginger Coconut Curry

The Ardent Prep: Turmeric Ginger Coconut Curry

This is the second recipe in The Ardent Prep series “Chicken, Rice, and Caramelized Onions.” To visit the original blog post, click here. To see the other two recipes in this meal prep series, click the links at the bottom of this page. Note that there are no caramelized onions used in this recipe. The onions are used in the other two meals. I hope you enjoy this delicious and easy recipe!


2.5 cups prepped rice

Approximately 1/3 prepped chicken breast, sliced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 inch piece fresh ginger, grated

1 medium jalapeno pepper, seeds removed and finely chopped

1 tsp ground turmeric

1 16oz can full-fat coconut milk

1-2 heads broccoli, cut into florets

Cilantro and lime wedges, if desired, for serving


  1. In a medium skillet, heat 1 TBSP olive or coconut oil over medium heat. When oil shimmers, add garlic, ginger, and jalapeno*. Saute until fragrant, approximately 2 minutes.
  2. Add turmeric and stir to coat the garlic, ginger, and jalapeno mixture. Allow the spice to “bloom” by cooking it in the hot pan for about 30 seconds. Then, add entire can of coconut milk.
  3. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer the sauce for about 10 minutes, until slightly thickened and glossy. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. In a separate pot, steam broccoli florets, approximately 6 minutes or until tender.
  5. Assemble bowls. Add rice to the bottom of a bowl and top with sliced chicken and steamed broccoli. Spoon curry sauce over the top of the bowls, using as much or as little as you like. Garnish with fresh cilantro and lime wedges, if desired. Recipe will yield about 3 adult-sized bowls.

*for added heat in this recipe, leave seeds in jalapeno. Alternatively, add crushed red pepper flakes or a pinch of cayenne pepper to taste.

Chicken Cheesesteak Skillet

Caramelized Onion, Kale, and Goat Cheese Bowls with Homemade Balsamic Glaze

The Ardent Prep: Chicken Cheesesteak Skillet

This is the first recipe in The Ardent Prep series “Chicken, Rice, and Caramelized Onions.” To visit the original blog post, click here. To see the other two recipes in this meal prep series, click the links at the bottom of this page. I hope you enjoy this delicious and easy recipe!


2.5 cups prepped rice

Approximately 1/3 prepped chicken breast, cubed or shredded

Approximately 1/2 prepped caramelized onions

2 bell peppers, any color, thinly sliced

2 garlic cloves, grated or minced

1/4 pound American Cheese

Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a large skillet, heat 1 TBSP olive oil over medium heat. Add peppers and cook, stirring frequently, until tender and slightly browned, approximately 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for an additional minute, until fragrant.
  3. To the skillet with the peppers and garlic, add rice, chicken, and caramelized onions. Fold ingredients together and spread into an even layer in the skillet. Taste for salt and pepper, and add accordingly.
  4. Cover rice mixture with sliced American cheese. Bake for 10 minutes, until cheese is melted and slightly golden. Enjoy!

Turmeric Ginger Coconut Curry

Caramelized Onion, Kale, and Goat Cheese Bowls with Homemade Balsamic Glaze

The Ardent Prep: Chicken, Rice, and Caramelized Onions

Happy Easter everyone! I’m spending today with endless cups of coffee, a nature walk, and a free spiral-cut ham that we got on rewards from the grocery store (no shame here). One of the positives of this quarantine for me has been the opportunity to fully immerse myself in Spring and all that this season has to offer. I think Spring is often overlooked because of our desires to get out of the cold weather and move directly into summer, but it’s really one of my favorite seasons! I’m thankful for the opportunity to slow down a bit and watch the flowers bloom.

This meal prep series was inspired by feedback I got from you all on Instagram. The concept was to take a “base”, in this case chicken and rice, and come up with 3-4 quick, easy ways that you could change up that base throughout the week. While most of us do have more time now that we’re home, I think there is also a pressure to be even more productive than we would normally be in the office, and therefore meals get overlooked in exchange for a quick snack while you mute yourself on a conference call. The idea of this meal prep series is that you spend 30 minutes or so prepping your base, then an additional 15-20 minutes for each meal. I visualized a schedule that goes something like this:

Sunday: Prep base ingredients. Store in containers in fridge.

Monday: Make Chicken Cheesesteak Skillet for dinner. Store leftovers for lunch next day.

Tuesday: Make Turmeric Ginger Coconut Curry for dinner. Store leftovers for lunch next day.

Wednesday: Leftovers, if any.

Thursday: Make Caramelized Onion, Kale, and Goat Cheese Bowls with Homemade Balsamic Glaze. Store leftovers for lunch next day.

Friday: Leftovers, if any.

Alternatively, you could do your prep and make a meal all in one shot in the kitchen. It really just depends how you want to make this plan work for you. I will say that this isn’t a comprehensive, feed-your-entire-family-for-a-week meal plan. This is basic. You get roughly 2-3 adult-sized portions per meal, and if you live with boys, good luck making it last. However, if you live alone or with one other person, this is a pretty decent way to feed yourselves using simple, healthy ingredients with minimal effort during the work week. You can always feel free to bulk up these recipes even more by adding additional sides of vegetables or another side dish. The point of this recipe series if to provide a framework that is digestible, delicious, and open for interpretation!

The grocery list is provided to be used at the beginning of the week, with the assumption that you already have a few staples like olive oil, salt, pepper, and butter. You can certainly feel free to swap out any vegetables you don’t like, change up your protein, or use a grain alternative instead of the rice. Be mindful that your final product should be about 8 cups of whatever rice or rice alternative you are using, so take that into account when making a swap there! Seafood would be excellent in the Turmeric Ginger Coconut Curry or the Caramelized Onion, Kale, and Goat cheese bowls, but I wouldn’t recommend it as a swap for the Chicken Cheesesteak Skillet. Make this recipe your own and don’t be afraid to swap something interesting!

I hope you enjoy the first installment of The Ardent Prep. If this concept is well-received, I would love to make this a regular occurrence on the blog. Your feedback is always appreciated, and I’ve been loving seeing all of your recipe photos. It means the world! If you decide to make any of these recipes, don’t forget to share and tag me @theardentcook on Instagram!

Grocery List

5-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts 

1 knob fresh ginger, approximately 1 inch

1 head of garlic

1-2 large sweet onions 

2 Bell peppers, any color

1 medium jalapeno pepper

1-2 heads of broccoli

1-2 heads kale

¼ pound sliced White American cheese

1 4oz log Goat cheese

1 16oz can full-fat coconut milk

White rice (4 cups dry)

1 16oz bottle Balsamic vinegar 

Ground turmeric

Prep Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake chicken breasts with olive oil, salt, and pepper until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit, approximately 30 minutes.
  2. Cook rice according to package instructions. If using a grain alternative, be sure that your final products yields close to 8 cups. Each recipe calls for approximately 2.5 cups of rice, give or take.
  3. While chicken and rice cook, melt 1 TBSP butter or other cooking fat in a medium skillet. Finely slice onion crosswise and add to the skillet along with a pinch of salt. Stir to coat onions in the butter, and saute over low heat until onions are slightly golden and resemble a jammy consistency, at least 20 minutes. Be careful not to cook onions any higher than low heat, at the risk of burning them.
  4. If choosing to make one of the meals at this point, continue with instructions for those recipes, linked below. Otherwise, store all ingredients in separate containers in the fridge and use according to recipe instructions throughout the week. Enjoy!

Chicken Cheesesteak Skillet

Turmeric Ginger Coconut Curry

Caramelized Onion, Kale, and Goat Cheese Bowls with Homemade Balsamic Glaze

Turkey & Mushroom Dumplings

I want to start off this recipe with a disclaimer that homemade dumplings are kind of a thing. They take awhile, and they take some patience (especially if you’re planning on making these with children), but they are SO worth it. The dumpling wrappers come together with just two ingredients and a little handiwork, and the filling gets cooked down to concentrate the flavors so much that even mushroom-haters will have their mouths watering.

If you actually can’t stand mushrooms and aren’t willing to give them a try, you can substitute them. You could just use more ground turkey, or try something different such as ground pork or another vegetable (perhaps finely chopped broccoli or cauliflower).

In this recipe, we add the coconut aminos (or soy sauce, if using that) in two parts. The first two tablespoons are added at the beginning of cooking to concentrate flavor. The second two tablespoons are added just before filling the dumplings, to ensure that the mixture stays moist while we fry the dumplings. Don’t skip out on this step, or your filling may be too dry.

If it feels like your dough is too dry, feel free to add more water little by little. A stand mixer is very helpful here, but don’t feel intimidated if you don’t have one. Your hand will work just fine, keeping in mind that it may take a little elbow grease to get the dough mixed through.

These dumplings are perfect to make over the weekend when you have time to dedicate, but with the right amount of planning you could totally do these on a weeknight. Make the filling ahead of time and store it in the fridge, then you just need to make the dough and fry them before eating. These dumplings are a great way to take your mind off of being stuck at home, and a really fun project if you’ve never made your own. I hope you enjoy this recipe!

As always, if you make them, share and tag me @theardentcook on Instagram!

For the filling

1lb ground turkey

One 3.5 oz container shiitake mushrooms, chopped  

2 scallions, finely sliced, plus more for garnish

1.5 inch piece ginger, grated

2 cloves garlic, minced or grated

½ cup cilantro, finely chopped

4 TBSP coconut aminos or low-sodium soy, divided 

1 TBSP toasted sesame oil

1 tsp Sambal or similar chile paste

1 TBSP honey

1 TBSP olive oil, for pan frying

For the dough

1.5 cups AP flour

1 cup Whole Wheat flour

¾ – 1 cup water, depending on absorbency of your flour 


  1. Prepare filling. In a medium skillet, begin to brown turkey. When turkey is about halfway cooked and slightly pink, add mushrooms, scallions, ginger, garlic, and 2 TBSP of the coconut aminos or soy sauce. Stir to combine and saute on low for about 15 minutes to allow the flavors to concentrate.The mixture will look moist but not wet. Let cool. 
  2. While filling cooks, combine flour and water in a large bowl or stand mixer with dough hook attachment. If using a stand mixer, mix on low until flour is just combined, being careful not to overwork the dough. If using hands, gently knead dough, occasionally folding it over itself to combine. Regardless of the mixing method used, you may need to add a few tablespoons of additional water to get the dough to a consistency that can be easily rolled out.  
  3. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to about ¼ inch thick. Cut small circles, approximately 1.5 inches in diameter, using a small cookie cutter or glass (a shot glass works well for this). Then, roll each circle out as thin as possible without tearing. 
  4. To the cooled filling mixture, add the remaining 2 TBSP coconut aminos, chopped cilantro, sesame oil, Sambal or chile paste, and honey. Stir to combine. Taste mixture and add additional salt and/or Sambal to your taste preference. 
  5. Moisten the edges of a dumpling wrapper with water and scoop about 1.5 tsp of filling into the center of the wrapper. Fold the edges of the wrapper over, creating a half-moon dumpling shape, and press with your fingers to seal the edges. Do not overfill the dumplings, as they could tear. Repeat the process until all dumpling wrappers are filled. This recipe will yield about 30 dumplings. If extra dumpling filling remains, enjoy it as a filling for lettuce wraps, or served over rice with some steamed broccoli! 
  6. In a large nonstick skillet, add olive oil to coat the pan. Pan-fry dumplings over medium heat until golden and crisp on one side, approximately 5 minutes. Flip dumplings over and add a few tablespoons of water to the pan and cover to steam for another 5 minutes. Once the time is up, uncover the pan and allow dumplings to finish cooking until the water has evaporated and the dumplings are soft. Time may vary for this step, so it is best to judge by how the dumplings look and feel. If the bottoms are burning, lower the heat and add a bit more water to the pan to insulate. 
  7. Serve dumplings with dipping sauce of your choice. For a quick and delicious sauce, combine 2 TBSP coconut aminos, 1 tsp sriracha, 1 tsp honey, ½ tsp grated garlic, ½ tsp grated ginger, and toasted sesame seeds.