Hands-on Time
25 Mins
Total Time
25 Mins
Serves 8

Start with canned pumpkin (for rich, smooth flavor) and canned white beans (for body), and you end up with a speedy first course that's crowned with a flavor-packed pesto. Make the soup a few days ahead, but do the pesto only shortly before serving so its color stays vibrant.

How to Make It

Step 1

Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion, 1 tablespoon sage, and garlic to pan; sauté 4 minutes or until lightly browned. Add pepper and cumin; sauté 1 minute. Stir in 1/2 cup stock; cook 1 minute, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Combine onion mixture, remaining 2 cups stock, beans, and pumpkin in a blender; process until smooth. Return stock mixture to pan. Stir in milk and salt. Bring to a simmer; cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in vinegar.

Step 2

Combine remaining 1 tablespoon sage, spinach, and remaining ingredients in a mini food processor; process until smooth. Ladle about 2/3 cup bisque into each of 8 bowls; top each serving with 2 teaspoons pesto.

Ratings & Reviews


January 10, 2017
I followed the recipe as written, making no substitutions.  My husband and I loved it.  Our two children (ages 4 and 5) were skeptical about it, but tried it and admitted that they liked it as well.  It was easy to prepare on a busy night during the work week.

Belanos's Review

October 26, 2015
The pesto definitely makes the soup. That said, I thought it was good, but not outstanding. The flavors do come together better after a couple of days. I used unsweetened almond milk instead of regular, and only half the vinegar, which I think was plenty for my taste.

daneanp's Review

May 05, 2014
Just ok. DD (17) didn't like it at all. Having an immersion blender really made it go together quickly but I doubt I'd make this again.

Nofusscook's Review

January 11, 2014
Nice hearty bisque. I made it by the directions and was very pleased. It definitely got better with time making this a great recipe if you want to make it ahead.

MrsGrassi's Review

January 04, 2014

MsLaurie's Review

December 14, 2013
I made this last night for a family dinner with mixed reviews. For me the soup was too vinegary but other than that pretty bland and tasteless .There were other family members who enjoyed the soup and particularly felt the pesto enhanced the flavor. I make a lot of soup and this one for me missed the mark. I will not try it again. That being said I am a big fan of Cooking Light and truly benefit from the seasonal nature of the recipes.

swainee's Review

December 08, 2013
Husband didn't think it was terrible but I did. The worst CL recipe I've ever made. I triple checked the recipe because I couldn't figure out what I did wrong but I did everything exactly to the recipe except used full fat milk which should have made things better.

Foodjunkie4sur's Review

November 23, 2013
Wonderful soup! I served this to my company and then had to hand out the recipe. I made it in advance and froze it. Will definitely make this again.

LDombeck's Review

November 19, 2013
I thought this soup was good, but nothing amazing. I subbed original almond milk for the regular milk b/c I am dairy-free. And added 1/4 t kosher salt to make up for lack of cheese I omitted. I also used 1/8 t cayenne for kids taste. So, this might have been better without all my subs. That said, it was good, but I probably won't make again.