Gluten-free, Soups, Stews and Sandwiches, Vegan/Vegetarian

Apple-wood Smoked Pumpkin Leek Soup

Loreto December 6, 2018

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Apple-wood Smoked Pumpkin Leek Soup. This soup is smooth, sumptuous, and so beautiful. Its aroma will have you guessing from the very first moments of cooking. Firstly, most noteworthy, the sweet notes of pumpkin and leek. Secondly, to the slight smoke from the apple-wood, and last but not least, the dreamy buttermilk just taking this soup way over the top!

Song of the Day: “Oh Yeah” by Yello

Applewood smoked pumpkin leek soup

[This post is sponsored by The Italian Centre Shop. We’ve been compensated but -as always- all opinions are our own.]

Apple-wood Smoked Pumpkin and Leek Soup, creamy, rich, packed with subtle robust flavors and spices. This soup will leave your taste buds in a state of bliss. If you have the winter chills, wrap your hands around this wonderful bowl of food love!

Pumpkins and More Pumpkins!

During the season of winter, squash and pumpkin grace the produce isles. Halloween has past and the last of the pumpkins are left not to be decorated but used to make delicious recipes. However, I had a bright idea to make this soup amazing and with a little Canadian twist……… Smoke!

Apple-wood the smoke of choice!

Apple-wood has this nice subtle sweet smoke to it. Pair it with some leeks, carrots, celery, potato, tomatoes and pumpkin and a really nice vegetable stock and you have the basics to a delicious and scrumptious winter soup!

Applewood smoked pumpkin leek soup

Off to The Italian Centre Shop with our list that goes something like this:

  • Pumpkin
  • Leeks
  • Celery, carrots, onions
  • Stewed tomatoes
  • Red potatoes
  • Garlic
  • Olive oil
  • Fresh rosemary, thyme, red chilis
  • Coriander, yellow curry, Chinese five spice, bay leaves, paprika

I love using the grill. You probably figured that out by now. People have also known me to be out there in the clenches of winter grilling up a storm!

Today is no different, I am going outside, fire that grill and get a little smoke going, and get to making this Apple-wood Smoked Pumpkin Leek Soup!


We are only using half a pumpkin. Fortunately for us, we had some leftover from another recipe we did for the Italian Centre Shop, Spiced Roasted Pumpkin Ricotta Crostata.

After the pumpkin has been cleaned and de-pulped we are ready to season it up, because we want to really get some flavor into that flesh of this wonderful vegetable. In the recipe below you will see the array of fresh herbs and dry spices that we use.

I first start with olive oil and then sprinkle everything in. However, the best way to cook this pumpkin is upside down, on a piece of foil and onto a perforated grilling pan.

How about those Leeks?

The leeks I cut into halves and seasoned with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Onto that foil paper next to the pumpkin and that is it. The grill is at about 380-400 degrees F and in go our veggies.

When a fork or knife can go into the pumpkin smoothly, it is done. Likewise for the leeks. You will see some char happening and the folds coming apart these are done too!

I almost forgot, the smoke!

For the smoke, I used some apple-wood chips I bought from our local hardware store. I received a smoking kit for a gift quite a while ago and it had this nice small cast iron ramekin. Consequently, it works very well in adding a little smoke to any grilling.

If you don’t have this ramekin, a foil plate will work. Firstly, wet the apple-wood chips a bit. Secondly, place them in a foil plate or foil paper, making a pouch. Lastly, poke holes in the top because we want that smoke to be able to escape and caress our veggies ever so subtly!

Applewood smoked pumpkin leek soup

Char heavenly Char!

Look at that char on the pumpkin. One thing for sure, grilling sure does an amazing job caramelizing all those natural sugars. Time to get to making the soup.

The Holy Trinity of Soup!

Mirepoix, the holy trinity. Carrots, celery, and onions, the aroma of this medley will make anyone’s stomach growl. Now in goes the charred leeks, spices, herbs and that sweats for a bit. Time for some stewed tomatoes which just sweetens the pot. Likewise,  as a result, deepens the color of this fantastic soup.

The Star of the Show

With the pumpkin cooled a bit we scoop all the pulp out along with all that goodness, hence building levels of flavor. To seal the deal some wonderful vegetable stock and we cover this slightly so it can breathe a bit and also build texture and taste.

Everything’s Better with Butter!

To get that creamy rich texture and taste we use buttermilk. OH YEAH!!!!!!!!!!

Applewood smoked pumpkin leek soup Applewood smoked pumpkin leek soup

Does this not look so colorful, rich and mouth drooling good? I think so, excuse me I have to go get a napkin, lol.

The final stages!

All that is left is to puree this soup. Above all else, fire up that hand blender and begin to spin that velvet texture!

I love the color so deep and the sheen wonderful. Can’t wait to dive in and get that bread into the action to sop up all those wonderful flavor notes.

Can’t finish a plate without some artistic expression. A few droplets of buttermilk and some fresh aromatic basil.

There! Perfect and ready to serve!

Lunch is ready! Come and get it!

Applewood smoked pumpkin leek soup

Oh, that Aroma……..

I can smell that slight bit of apple-wood smoke. Smells so sweet and profound. Furthermore, the pumpkin, with all the spices and herbs, has my senses going mad with hunger!  The smell of that buttermilk and notes of fresh basil is like heaven to my brain.

Where’s my spoon!

Oh, there it is. I am going in because I can’t stand it anymore! Mirepoix, the soup base is perfect. Just enough of a foundation to let the other stars shine. The pumpkin is sweet, earthy, and the spices of garlic, paprika, thyme, and rosemary add such a nice touch to the whole. Potatoes help keep that starchy velvety texture in check. Likewise,  having the leeks that have that caramel backdrop and a rich green onion similarly adds a subtle flavor boost, which perfectly balances the totality of this Apple-wood Smoked Pumpkin Leek Soup.

In Conclusion:

I love soups especially when winter has its clutches on me. Some think of soup as that casual everyday affair. I think this soup has earned the right to be served in fine dining style, don’t you?

Applewood smoked pumpkin leek soup

If you are in the Edmonton area or planning a trip to Edmonton, take a break, go to the Italian Centre Shop. Load up your cart with the ingredients necessary to make this Apple-wood Smoked Pumpkin Leek Soup.


One thing I must warn you about, you are probably going to come home with much much more than you had planned to buy because the aromas and wonderful samples and amazing ingredients have a way to win your heart. Also, the atmosphere is very family friendly!

Happy Holidays!

This soup would be a great first plate at your Christmas dinner. Think about it!


Song of the day: “Oh Yeah” by Yello.

Applewood smoked pumpkin leek soup

Apple-wood Smoked Pumpkin Leek Soup

  • Author: Loreto
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
  • Yield: 6 large bowls of soup. 1x
  • Category: vegetarian
  • Method: smoking/grilling
  • Cuisine: Fusion


Apple-wood Smoked Pumpkin Leek Soup. This soup is smooth, sumptuous, and so beautiful. The aroma will have you guessing from the very first spoonful. Firstly, the sweet notes of pumpkin and leek, secondly, to the slight smoke from the apple-wood, and last but not least, the dreamy buttermilk just taking this soup way over the top!



  • 1/2 pumpkin, about 1.5 kg
  • 1 leek cut into pieces
  • 2 cloves garlic pressed
  • 1/2 tsp fresh red chili pepper minced
  • A few  sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • Couple bay leaves
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp crushed sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper
  •  1 Tbsp Chinese five spice
  • A nice pinch of yellow curry
  • 1/2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • A handful of apple wood chips

Soup base:

  • 45 small carrots chopped fine
  • 3 small yellow onions chopped
  • 1 small leek washed and chopped fine
  • 2 cloves garlic smashed
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 2 small red potatoes peeled washed and diced
  • 3/4 cup celery with leaves chopped fine
  • 1 1/2 cups stewed tomatoes
  • All the inside pulp of the cooked pumpkin
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 tsp crushed sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper

Finishing touches:

  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk


  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • A few leaves of fresh basil



  1. If you can’t find pumpkin, squash would work just fine too.
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Applewood smoked pumpkin leek soup

[This post is sponsored by The Italian Centre Shop. We’ve been compensated but -as always- all opinions are our own.]

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  • Avatar
    Reply Kathy @ Beyond the Chicken Coop December 6, 2018 at 7:21 pm

    Wow!!! What a beautiful delicious soup! I love the bit of smokiness that you’ve added.

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto December 8, 2018 at 8:54 pm

      Thank you Kathy, I wish we had smell vision so you can smell the sweet herb pumpkin and leek beautifully caressed by the apple-wood smoke. One day, yes one day this may happen until then you are just going to have to try this soup, lol.
      Happy cooking!

  • Avatar
    Reply Nicole December 7, 2018 at 10:34 am

    I think that adding smoke to soup is super smart! I have a smoker and never thought of smoking veggies for different dishes.

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto December 8, 2018 at 8:51 pm

      Hi Nicole, I would be firing up that smoker as I write this message and get those veggies all caramelized and flavorful. Then add them to a delicious soup base to be glorified and blended into creamy velvety flavor food heaven! Thank you for checking this out, I am so happy that we inspired you today!

  • Avatar
    Reply Renee Gardner December 8, 2018 at 12:09 am

    What a gorgeous presentation! A perfect addition to my rotation of soups this coming winter.

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto December 8, 2018 at 8:48 pm

      Thank you Rene, I feel honored that our soup has made your rotation. Winter can be harsh, but as long as we have these beautiful soups we can be totally happy and fulfilled.
      Have a wonderful weekend!

  • Avatar
    Reply Dominique | Perchance to Cook December 8, 2018 at 3:51 am

    I have never used the grill to make soup before but after seeing your photos, I am thinking this needs to change! How delicious does your smoked pumpkin leek soup look?! I love the seasoning and flavor combo here. This is one gorgeous soup!

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto December 8, 2018 at 8:45 pm

      Thank you Dominique, I would highly recommend trying the grilling thing. The smoke was subtle but enough to spark interest to the pumpkin and leek. Together all the flavors and textures create not only beauty but pure and utter deliciousness!

  • Avatar
    Reply Karyl Henry December 8, 2018 at 8:01 am

    I’m not a big fan of pumpkin, but I have to admit this soup looks really good. And I love that you grill the pumpkin! What a wonderful way to add a beautiful depth of flavor

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto December 8, 2018 at 2:55 pm

      Thank you. It was one of those ah ha moments, so I just went with it. I am very happy with the results so rich and you are right depth of flavor is a great way to describe it. That apple-wood smoke added just enough of that sweetness to the pumpkin to make it a perfect match. You gotta try this one!

  • Avatar
    Reply lauren December 8, 2018 at 6:52 pm

    I love everything about this soup. It’s so warm and comforting. The balance of the creamy vegetables with the hint of buttermilk is perfect.

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto December 8, 2018 at 8:41 pm

      Thank you Lauren, its true that buttermilk was perfect with the vegetables and to make this soup the most luxuriously creamy bowl of heaven!I loved the garnish of buttermilk. It added some mystery and at the same time decadence in a savory sort of way!
      Happy cooking!

  • Avatar
    Reply Michelle - The Last Food Blog December 9, 2018 at 3:54 am

    What a gorgeous soup! I love the idea of smoking the pumpkin and leeks I bet that brings a whole new level of flavour to this soup. Such a great idea. This soup would definitely be worthy of a place at the table for Christmas.

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto December 9, 2018 at 8:41 am

      Thank you Michele. I am sure your family will love when you serve up this soup just on visual content alone. But once that spoonful hits their tastebuds, get ready to see the smiles appear and see their eyes close.

  • Avatar
    Reply Krista Price December 9, 2018 at 7:45 am

    Smoking the pumpkin and leeks for this soup is brilliant. I can only imagine the depth of flavor that must add! Everything about this soup sounds so delicious and inviting. I can not wait to try! 🙂

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto December 9, 2018 at 8:39 am

      Thank you Krista. I am going to try some different soups with various types of smoke. Wii definitely shar the experience. Stay tuned!

  • Avatar
    Reply Jessica (Swanky Recipes) December 9, 2018 at 4:56 pm

    The hubs and I have been rotating making our favorite soups since the cold has set in here in the south. We love making a big batch to last a few meals and this sounds delightful and flavorful on a cozy night in.

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto December 10, 2018 at 6:20 am

      Well put Jessica, soup is the answer to any ailment. Definate;y a food for the soul!
      Thank you!

  • Avatar
    Reply Sri Mallya December 9, 2018 at 5:16 pm

    Perfect soup for the weather here. So flavorful and delicious. Pinned to try this soon.

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto December 10, 2018 at 6:19 am

      Hi Sri, thank you. Soup is such a wonderful blessing when winter has fallen upon us.
      Happy cooking!

  • Avatar
    Reply Charity December 9, 2018 at 7:21 pm

    I love that you grill the pumpkin! I’m sure the smokiness really compliments to sweetness. Such an interesting recipe!

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto December 10, 2018 at 6:17 am

      Thank you, always creating in our kitchen. Makes it a very interesting!

  • Avatar
    Reply Chef Markus Mueller December 9, 2018 at 7:28 pm

    I’ve never smoked pumpkin! Great idea though, I have smoked tomatoes and peppers to make a smoke infused soup, so I can just image the subtle outdoorsiness the smoke adds to the you said a great soup to warm up with and it has a true Canadian twist!

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto December 10, 2018 at 6:16 am

      Thank you Chef Marcus. you gotta love a creative mind. Even better when it turns out this delicious. I am thinking now, that smoked tomato and pepper sounds very intriguing!

  • Avatar
    Reply Sam | Ahead of Thyme December 9, 2018 at 11:02 pm

    Homemade soup is the best!! I would love a bowl of this comfort food right now! Pinning to try this week 🙂

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto December 10, 2018 at 6:14 am

      Thank you Sam, nothing like that feeling of a warm bowl of soup in your hands,m truly comforting!

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