This Creamy Vegan Pumpkin Soup is topped with Maple-Roasted Pumpkin Seeds. Elegant enough for a Thanksgiving dinner, yet easy to prep for dinner any night!
Hi guys. When I started planning this post, it was simply to share a recipe for vegan pumpkin soup. Yesterday, however, we lost our beloved Sarabi kitty.
It was a very hard day. She was 18, so certainly had a long, happy life with us. In the spring we learned that she was having troubles. The vet informed us at the time that we might only have another few weeks with her. But, beautiful Sarabi gave us her love a little longer.
Paul and I adopted Sarabi when we were living in Newfoundland. We were married a couple of years, and heard about a litter of kittens through a colleague. We took a drive out and found little Sarabi. While I was holding another kitten, Sarabi climbed up Paul’s leg. We said “well, she’s the one“!
She was a frisky kitten, and a bit of a furry menace in her early years! She regularly chewed through electrical wires. Yes, wires – to lamps, keyboards and mouses (they had wires then), and more. She kept us on our toes for sure! When we moved to BC, she came with us. And, when I was pregnant with our first daughter, Charlotte, she was right there with me. Sleeping by my belly. The days leading up to Charlotte’s birth were very stressful for us, we had many tests and medical professionals interpreting my pregnancy and ultimately I was induced early. I remember Sarabi snoozing snuggled by my belly, offering her comfort.
Once Charlotte was born, she was so good to her. She didn’t become jealous or react oddly, just continued to sleep where we were with our new baby. When Charlotte spoke, her first word wasn’t ‘mama’ or ‘dada’… it was “ah-boo“, as she pointed to Sarabi. And, Sarabi was with us as our family grew with both Bridget and Hope.
She even helped us welcome our puppy, Ollie, this year. However, she was still top dog in this house! We would escort Sarabi through Ollie’s playroom ensuring he didn’t excitedly lunge at her. She quickly caught on to that special treatment, too. In her old age, she kept frequenting the area just to get a rise out of the pup!
Yet, she was becoming frail and slow, we knew her days with us were limited. It’s no surprise that she spent her last hours yesterday under Charlotte’s bed. Those two had a special connection. We all took turns going in and talking to Sarabi and stroking her. Later in the day, Charlotte was bringing her upstairs to me as she passed away. Charlotte said she heard one last purr.
The girls are doing okay. It is hardest for Charlotte because Sarabi really was her love. Her nickname in school last year was “cat lady” as she is always sketching cats. Our younger girls are processing it differently, I don’t think they quite understand the finality. It’s been hard for Paul and I, as Sarabi was with us almost as long as we’ve been married, through so many of our milestones together.
This picture is from the photo shoot for my upcoming book. I took some special photos with miss Sarabi, sitting on our “nest” chair – another one of her favorite spots. I’m so grateful to have these photos, they really capture her sweet, peaceful, elderly spirit.
Goodbye for now, miss Sarabi. Thank you for your love, we will miss you.
With Canadian Thanksgiving weekend, we will honor Sarabi. We’ll look at photos, share our memories, and give thanks for the many years she was with our entire family.
Now to this Creamy Vegan Pumpkin Soup with Maple-Spiced Pepitas.
While this soup is elegant enough to serve for a festive fall dinner like Thanksgiving, I’ve been making it regularly. This vegan pumpkin soup is easy to prep and the combination of warm, earthy spices is soothing and comforting.
Try serving this Creamy Vegan Pumpkin Soup as a starter, or as part of the main course with other dishes.
For other holiday menu ideas, hop over to this post.
Blessings to you all, thanks for reading. x Dreena
Creamy Vegan Pumpkin Soup with Maple-Spiced Pepitas
- 2 tbsp water
- 1 1/2 cups onion
- 1 cup carrot chopped
- 1 – 1 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 – 1 tsp teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
- 1/8 tsp allspice
- 1 – 14 oz can 398 ml pure pumpkin puree
- 4 cups water
- 1 dried bay leaf
- 3/4 – 1 cup soaked cashews or soaked almonds skins removed, see note
- 1 – 1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
- 1 tsp pure maple syrup
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1/8 tsp cinnamon
- few pinches sea salt
- Heat the water in a large pot over medium or medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrot, salt (starting with 1 tsp) and spices. Stir, cover, and cook for 8 to 9 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the pumpkin, about 3 1/2 cups of water, and bay leaf. Bring the mixture to a boil, then lower the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove soup from heat and let cool slightly. While waiting, you can prepare the pepitas (see below). Then, remove bay leaf from soup and discard. Transfer soup to a high-speed blender, along with the cashews and 1 tbsp of lemon juice.
- (If using a standard blender, you will need to puree in a couple of batches). Puree the soup until completely smooth. Transfer mixture back to the pot, using remaining 1/2 cup of water to loosen any soup from blender, scraping down sides and transferring back to the pot. Taste, add extra salt or lemon juice to taste. Serve this Creamy Vegan Pumpkin Soup with a topping of Maple-Roasted Pepitas (see below). Serves 4-5.
- Preheat oven (or toaster oven) to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet (or toaster oven tray) with parchment paper. Add the pumpkin seeds to the sheet/tray, and add the maple syrup, ginger, and cinnamon. Toss through to combine. Sprinkle with a few pinches of sea salt. Bake for 5-8 minutes, tossing once through, and watching so they don’t burn. As soon as the start to become aromatic and toasted, remove from the oven/toaster oven. Let cool on the tray. As they cool they will become crisp.
Thank you for sharing. So sorry for your loss 🙁
My daughter is allergic to carrots, can I just leave them out or sub with something else?
Hi Maria, sorry for the delay. Yes, for sure you can omit them. You can try adding another orange veg if you like, or just omit altogether. Enjoy!
Dearest Dreena, thank you for sharing your beautiful Sarabi with us. I, too, have raised kittens from 6 weeks until their passing (one at 11 years old, one at 20 years old), and I acknowledge your deep courage and love. What a blessing that you and your family created a life with Sarabi for 18 years and that Charlotte has such a profound bond with her. Sending you, Paul, Charlotte, Bridget, and Hope so much love at this time. xoxo
So sorry about Sarabi :(.
Dreena, I am so sorry to hear you have lost your beloved cat. I have lost a couple of of them in the past and it is so heartbreaking. Our current cat, Candy, is 15 and she is my most constant companion. She was 3 when my son was born so he has always known her and they have a very special relationship. They truly become members of the family, don’t they? I am glad you are your family are going to spend some time remembering Sarabi and celebrating the lovely times you had with one another 🙂 Take care; love and hugs to you and your family xx
oh Dreena, thank you for sharing stories about Sarabi, what a wonderful kitty-kat. Sounds like she had the best possible home with you and your family. Animals don’t know how much joy they give us.
I always look forward to your posts. What a beautiful tribute to your Sarabi. Praying your family gets through this time. Thank you for another delicious recipe. I look forward to making it this week.
Oh Dreena, what a moving post. That picture of you and Sarabi is so lovely. It’s really amazing how these little furry friends can be such enduring and constant presences in our lives, through so many milestones. Much love to you and your family.
Dreena- I am so sorry for your family’s loss. What a beautiful and poignant description of her life and all she meant to your family. I think you have captured the emotions many of us feel about our four legged babies and how are hearts are broken when they leave us. Wishing you peace and light and a Thanksgiving celebration filled with sweet memories and the love of family. We love YOU and are so grateful to have you as part of our lives. xoxo D
My deepest condolences on your family’s loss of your precious cat. Your words painted a lovely picture of her wonderful life with you. I can only imagine the loss you must be feeling after having such a full 18 years with her. Your post was so heartfelt and really showed how much you all loved her. It brought tears and emotion to me!
I wish you all a happy and reflective Thanksgiving weekend. <3
Dreena thank you for sharing your memories of beautiful Sarabi.
Oh, D, I was so sorry to hear about Sarabi. 🙁 It is so incredibly difficult to lose a pet. Trying to continue on without the sweet soul whose only desires were to love you and share your life with you just seems so impossible in the beginning. Sarabi must have felt SO blessed to have been a part of your family and to have been surrounded by all of you and your love when she passed. What a wonderful way to move on. . . I’m so glad that your family will be focusing on celebrating the life she had with you.
That picture of the two of you is absolutely gorgeous and so touching. I’m sure you’ll treasure it always.
I hope Charlotte is managing to cope with the loss of her sweet kitty.
So sorry for your loss, Dreena. 🙁
I’m so sorry for your loss! Our little 12 year old dog Lucy is not doing too well either. I always say she’s like my first child because she was! I love her like one of my kids. It will be very sad around here once it’s her turn to go. I’ll be thinking of you and your family!!
So sorry to hear about your beautiful Sarabi, rest in peace, wonderful little friend, my heartfelt condolences. One of my best friends was a cat named Modus Operandus and he died at 16 about six years ago or so and it was super sad. Please take good care of yourself. I hope you adopt another lucky kitty one day. This recipe looks delicious and I hope to make it soon. Thank you so much for sharing all this.
Dreena, I am so sorry to hear of your loss.
She looked adorable and it sounds as though she brought you and your family lots of joy. Thanks so much for sharing your story and this stunning recipe.
Terri Cole says
I am so sorry for your loss!
Cindy Read says
Dreena i am so sorry to hear about your beautiful Sarabi. She had a long wonderful life with you and not many cats move across the country as she did with you and Paul. I feel your pain since we experienced the same just in Nov 2012 when John & I had to say goodbye to our sweet “Ali”.We’re never prepared for it…:(( Just know your family is in my thoughts as you process this most difficult time. xo
My deepest sympathies to your entire family. I know that when we lost our first family dog, we couldn’t eat dinner that night, so I made a just a little something for my husband and two daughter and we all ate in our bed and told stories about our dear Shadow. It was both my daughter’s first real sense of loss and grief. Seven years have passed now, and we have a new dog, and new memories to make. Loss is a life lesson, and one that never gets easier – be well and let the memories you have sustain you.
Oh Dreena, I am so sorry for your loss. My heart just breaks reading your post. The photo of you and Sarabi is just precious. There is no doubt that she was one special kitty by being part of your family. I wish you all strength and love during this sad time. Thank you for sharing such an intimate family event. You have many supporters who are all thinking of you.
Thank you for the sweet words for your little kitty. So glad to have the chance to read about her and her beautiful life. Thank you and condolences.
A beautiful tribute to your sweet kitty. We lost our Sasha a few days ago. He loved visitors, and loved us for 10 yrs.
Chris J. says
Dreena, this is a lovely tribute to your sweet and beautiful Sarabi. Thank you for sharing her story, and may sweet memories of her ease the deep loss you and your family feel. We too lost our beloved kitty, Leah, in August at 18-1/2 years and miss her wonderful presence. Perhaps it would be a comfort to your kids to make her a memorial stepping stone for your yard. I have a few now in memory of our dog and another beloved cat, and they make me smile and think of them whenever I see them in the garden. (I’ve purchased the kits at our local craft store.) Sending you warm & comforting wishes for Thanksgiving. And thank you for sharing this and all your recipes; I love them!
I am so very sorry for your loss. There is a poem entitled “Rainbow Bridge” which brough me comfort when my cat George passed. Sarabi will be waiting for you I am sure at the rainbow bridge one day.
Sending you and your family lots of love & prayers, losing such a beloved family member is hard. Sarabi looks exactly like our Katie who we lost in 2008. Thank you for sharing all your wonderful recipes!
So sorry for your loss! That’s the HARDEST – losing part of the family! HUGS to all!
The soup looks amazing, btw!
So sorry for your loss….It is always so heart breaking. There is a really great book for little ones & yourselves
“For Every Cat an Angel” by Christine Davis. Hope this helps bring some peace to your saddened hearts.
Another wonderful recipe Dreena. I’m so sorry for your families loss of your precious Sarabi. xx
We’re sharing in your loss. Our 21 year old kitty passed this week. 🙁
I am so sorry for your family’s loss. Losing a fur covered family member is hard because they’re the ones who usually snuggle you through your losses. Enjoy your thanksgiving as I’m sure your beautiful sarabi will be celebrating from heaven. You gave her lots to be thankful for
Thank you so much for taking the time to post a recipe during such a difficult time for your family.
Best thoughts to all of you during our holiday of thanks, and a toast to Sarabi. xo
This is a beautiful story, thank you for sharing. My heart goes out to you and your family. Losing a loved one is always so hard, especially such a constant companion through so many years. <3
So sorry for your loss, Dreena! Often some of our longest relationships are with the furry family members who depend on us….
What a beautiful story, thank you for sharing. The photos with Sarabi are lovely and the soup looks wonderful too 🙂
C Faivre says
Having just lost our dear elder cat BooBoo, I was particularly struck by the beautiful tribute to your beloved Sarabi. She is beautiful, and now free of any discomfort. We had our BooBoo for 18 years (nearly), and he was the most loving, sweet-spirited, fabulous kitty. We lost him over a month ago, but I still find myself grieving as thought it were just this morning. May you find peace, along with room in your heart and home to rescue another kitty. I think your memorial at Thanksgiving is a wonderful idea, and we will do it here as well….we have many to remember. I’m looking forward to trying this delicious soup. Thank you for sharing.
So sorry about Satabi, Dreena. I have a 12-year-old lab who is also showing signs of slowing down. It’s so hard as these pets become such a part of family and milestones, as you beautifully point out in your blog entry. May Sarabi’s spirit linger in you and your family.
Lovely recipe as always!
First, my condolences on the loss of Sarabi. Our animal friends give us so much love in so short a time. They enrich our lives and deepen our relationships with others. Such a beautiful tribute…thank you for sharing. Next, I love the recipes on your site. I am grateful that you share them and I look forward to making this wonderful soup this autumn.
Sounds like Sarabi was a very lovely cat and had a great life. So sorry for your family’s loss.
Ricki Burleigh says
Samara, I was also touched by YUUR beautiful reply to Dreena. Those were also my same sentiments, so I want to acknowledge you for having written those feelings to Dreena. Perfect reply.
Sue @ A Colourful Canvas says
Oh Dreena, I’m so deeply sorry for your loss. How is it that such small creatures leave such big holes in our hearts when they leave us…our four legged loves open their hearts to us and love us unconditionally…and it’s always heartbreaking to lose them at any age. It’s a blessing that you have so many years of wonderful memories stored, and, without a doubt, Sarabi is flying on the wings of an angel nearby.
“Animals are such agreeable friends, they ask no questions, they pass no criticisms.” – George Eliot
So sorry to hear this, Dreena. Losing a pet is devastating. Sending lots of love your way and wishing you an extra special family weekend. <3
I am sorry about your cat. Thank you for sharing her sweet story. I love pumpkin soup and have been in search of a good vegan one for years. My boys are allergic to nuts. Do you think there would be a good sub for the nuts, or is just not worth trying it nut-free?
I am so touched by your warm and loving eulogy to sweet Sarabi. My heart goes out to you and your family as you celebrate her life and mourn your loss. Special condolences to Charlotte who has lost such a devoted, lifelong friend.
Thanksgiving indeed, for the loyal kinship of beautiful Sarabi.