Kid-friendly Nearly Norwegian Gresskarsuppe Pumpkin Soup Recipe - Sticky Fingers Cooking
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Recipe: Nearly Norwegian Gresskarsuppe Pumpkin Soup

Recipe: Nearly Norwegian Gresskarsuppe Pumpkin Soup

Nearly Norwegian Gresskarsuppe Pumpkin Soup

by Dylan Sabuco
Photo by Irina Bogodukhova
prep time
10 minutes
cook time
15 minutes
4-6 servings

Fun Food Story

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Nearly Norwegian Gresskarsuppe Pumpkin Soup

The winters are cold and long in the land of fjords and the midnight sun. And so, Norwegians know a thing or two about soups and stews! 

This soup's featured ingredient—pumpkin—is native to North America and has little to do with Norway. In fact, pumpkins are so uncommon in Norway that they generally only show up in markets there from late October to early November. So, the window of opportunity for Norwegians to make this soup with fresh pumpkin is actually quite short! 

Lucky for you, in North America, we are surrounded by pumpkin-everything all Fall long! So go ahead and give this one a whirl!

Happy & Healthy Cooking,

Chef Erin, Food-Geek-in-Chief

Fun-Da-Mentals Kitchen Skills

  • blend :

    to stir together two or more ingredients until just combined; blending is a gentler process than mixing.

  • boil :

    to cook a food in liquid heated to the point of gas bubbles and steam forming (boiling point is 212 F at sea level).

  • chop :

    to cut something into small, rough pieces using a blade.

  • measure :

    to calculate the specific amount of an ingredient required using a measuring tool (like measuring cups or spoons).

  • sauté :

    to cook or brown food in a pan containing a small quantity of butter, oil, or other fat.

Equipment Checklist

  • Cutting board + kid-safe knife
  • Mixing bowl
  • Large pot
  • Measuring spoons
  • Liquid measuring cup
  • Dry measuring cups
  • Wooden spoon
  • Small saucepan
  • Blender (or pitcher + immersion blender)
  • Pitcher
  • Whisk


Nearly Norwegian Gresskarsuppe Pumpkin Soup

  • 1 sweet potato
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp thyme, fresh or dry
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 2 T vegetable oil
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 pinch black pepper
  • 1/2 15-oz can pumpkin purée
  • 1/2 12-oz can coconut milk/cream **(for COCONUT ALLERGY sub 1/2 C soy or whole milk)**
  • 2 C water, or more to adjust consistency

Food Allergen Substitutions

Nearly Norwegian Gresskarsuppe Pumpkin Soup

  • Coconut: Substitute 1/2 C soy or whole milk for the canned coconut milk in the Soup.


Nearly Norwegian Gresskarsuppe Pumpkin Soup


“Hallo! Hei!” That's Hello and Welcome in Norwegian! This Nearly Norwegian Gresskarsuppe (GRESS-kar-soopah) Pumpkin Soup is perfect for a cold, winter day. All the hearty ingredients blend together to make a vibrant, orange treat that is sure to warm your soul.

chop + measure + sauté

Chop 1 sweet potato and 1 carrot into a rough dice and place in a mixing bowl. Measure and combine 1 teaspoon paprika, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon thyme, 1 teaspoon coriander powder, 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, 1 pinch of salt, and 1 pinch of black pepper in the same bowl with the vegetables. Add the vegetable and spice mixture into a large pot over medium heat. Cook for 5 minutes to soften the carrots and sweet potatoes slightly.

simmer + blend + adjust

After 5 minutes of cooking, add 1/2 can of coconut milk, 1/2 can of pumpkin purée, and 2 cups water. Either blend in the pot with an immersion blender or transfer to a blender and blend the mixture until smooth. Heat the soup mixture over medium low heat for at least 15 minutes before serving. Also, before serving the soup, check the consistency. If the soup is very thick, add a splash of water to make it thinner. If too thin, continue to cook the soup uncovered for 5 to 10 more minutes on low heat. Taste for seasoning and adjust the amount of salt if necessary.

Surprise Ingredient: Pumpkin!

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Photo by Irina Wilhauk/

Hi! I’m Pumpkin!

"I'm orange, round, like to sit on your porch making faces in the Fall, and I'm good to eat! I'm a pumpkin! Of course, not all pumpkins are orange. We can be white, red, yellow, tan, blue, dark green, and even black! We're not always round, either! We might be tall and oblong or short and squat. We love it when families come to the pumpkin patch to pick out their favorite pumpkin to take home!"


  • The pumpkin is a winter squash that is believed to have originated in Central America. Seeds from pumpkins were found in the highlands of Oaxaca, Mexico, dating back to 7000 to 5500 BCE, about 9,000 years ago! 
  • Now, pumpkins are grown on six continents. The only continent that can't grow pumpkins is Antarctica!
  • Native Americans were eating pumpkins for centuries before European colonists arrived. They ate pumpkin seeds, used them as medicine, and made mats from flattened and dried strips of pumpkins.
  • Archaeologists have found pumpkin residue among the 800-year-old ruins of the Ancestral Pueblo people. 
  • A pumpkin is not the same as a Jack-o-Lantern. A pumpkin is only a Jack-o-Lantern once it's carved! Carving pumpkins into Jack-o-Lanterns is a tradition that started hundreds of years ago in Ireland. The Irish used to carve turnips, but when Irish immigrants arrived in North America and found pumpkins aplenty, they began to use those instead. 
  • Pumpkins were once endorsed as a remedy for freckles and snake bites. As if we need a cure for freckles!
  • According to Guinness World Records, Stefano Cutrupi of Italy harvested the heaviest pumpkin on September 26, 2021. His humongous pumpkin weighed over 2,702 pounds.

Anatomy & Etymology

  • Why are pumpkins orange? Before a pumpkin matures, it's green in color due to the presence of chlorophyll, a green-pigmented nutrient required for the pumpkin to absorb and use sunlight for energy and food. However, as a pumpkin matures, it develops phytonutrients called "carotenoids," which give a pumpkin its bright orange color. 
  • The stem of a pumpkin is often referred to as its "handle."
  • Thin, hairlike "tendrils" are often attached to the pumpkin's stem. As it grows, the pumpkin's tendrils cling to the vine and are green in color. These tendrils attach to and wind themselves around fences, posts, other plants, and objects on the ground to anchor the vine and protect the plant from the wind. 
  • Leaves grow on the pumpkin's vine and absorb sunlight to provide energy for the plant and its fruit.
  • We collectively refer to the pumpkin's outer skin and inner fruit as the pumpkin's "shell." Ribs are the indentations around the outside of the pumpkin's shell. 
  • The meat of the pumpkin is called the "pulp," or sometimes affectionately referred to as "pumpkin brains!" Attached to the pulp are lots of pumpkin seeds that can be cleaned, dried, and roasted with salt (delicious!). The inner part of each pumpkin seed contains a nut (technically, the "germ" of the seed), and this is what eventually develops into a new pumpkin. 
  • The word "pumpkin" originated from the Greek word for "large melon," which is "pepon." The French called it "pompon." The English used "pumpion." And, American colonists changed "pumpion" into "pumpkin."  

How to Pick, Buy, & Eat

  • A pumpkin is used as a vegetable in cooking, but it's actually a fruit! It's a member of the Cucurbita family, which includes squash and cucumbers. 
  • Pumpkin flowers and seeds are edible.
  • Undoubtedly the most popular recipe that uses pumpkins is pumpkin pie. But pumpkin pulp can be used for everything from baked goods to soups to ice cream, pudding, and even beer!
  • You can store uncut pumpkins for up to 60 days in a cool, dark place!


  • Pumpkins contain potassium, vitamin C, soluble fiber, and beta carotene. 
  • Vitamin C and beta carotene are two powerful antioxidants that help protect cell membranes and the immune system. 
  • Potassium is good for circulation and healthy blood pressure, and it's great for bones. It also helps take blood pumped from hearts through arteries and veins to muscles and organs.
  • Beta carotene is great for the health of our eyes! The body takes beta carotene and converts it to vitamin A, which our eyes need to stay healthy. When this happens, it signals the immune system to create white blood cells, which help the body fight off infection. 
  • Soluble fiber is so good for our digestive systems! Fiber also helps slow the absorption of blood sugar into our tissues.


History of Pumpkin Soup!

Photo by Olga Miltsova/
  • This warming and comforting soup is a favorite Fall and Winter soup in many countries. The pumpkin is native to North America, and when the early colonists made their pumpkin "pie" from pumpkin purée, it may have been more like a thick, savory soup. 
  • In Norway, it is called "gresskarsuppe." In Norwegian, "gresskar" means "pumpkin," and "suppe" is "soup." 
  • Squash soup is popular in parts of Africa, and in Haiti, soup made with winter squashes is called "soup joumou" and served on New Year's Day. 
  • To make pumpkin soup with a fresh pumpkin, cut it in half, scoop out the seeds, then peel it. Slice the pumpkin or cut it up into chunks, put it in a pot with broth or water, onion, garlic, salt, and pepper, bring to a boil, and cook until tender, about 15 minutes. (You can also roast your pumpkin pieces in the oven at 350 to 425 F for 30 to 45 minutes until tender.) Next, if you have an immersion blender, purée the pumpkin directly in the pot or pour the mixture into a countertop blender. Finish your soup off with additional spices of your choice, a drizzle of cream or coconut milk, and even a few roasted pumpkin seeds!

Let's Learn About Norway!

Photo by Tomsickova Tatyana/
  • Norway, officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a northern European country located on the western half of the Scandinavian Peninsula, next to Sweden. Finland and Russia are on Norway's northeast border. The North Atlantic Ocean (Norwegian Sea) lies on Norway's western shores, the North Sea to its southwest, and the Barents Sea to its north. 
  • Norway is a Nordic country, an area of northern Europe and the North Atlantic. This designation is not only geographical, but Nordic countries also share similar histories, cultures, and languages. The other Nordic countries include Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Sweden, Greenland, and the Faroe Islands. 
  • The country's land area is 148,729 square miles, somewhat larger than the US state of Montana. Approximately 5.4 million people live in Norway, about 4 million more than in Montana.
  • Almost half of the population of Norway lives in the far southern part of the country, near Oslo, the capital and largest city. 
  • Norway's government is a unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy, which means Norway has a monarch or king, a prime minister, a president of the "Storting" (legislature), and a Supreme Court. 
  • The official languages are Norwegian and Sámi (a Uralic language). Other recognized national languages include Kven (a Finnish dialect), Romani, Scandoromani, and Norwegian Sign Language. 
  • Much of the country is mountains and glaciers, with many fjords and about 50,000 islands along the coastline. A fjord (fee-yord) is a deep, narrow inlet caused by glaciers. There are about 400,000 lakes in Norway and over 200,000 registered islands. 
  • Visitors to Norway come to see the fjords along the Norwegian coastline, the mountains and glaciers, and the landscape in the Arctic Circle.
  • The Svalbard archipelago, also a part of Norway, is in the Arctic Ocean and home to the polar bear, walrus, arctic fox, and Svalbard reindeer. The moose is the largest animal on the Norwegian mainland. 
  • The Nobel Peace Prize is awarded by the Norwegian Nobel Committee in Oslo, Norway. 
  • Some of Norway's famous cultural contributors include the classical pianist and composer Edvard Grieg, the expressionist painter Edvard Munch, the playwright Henrik Ibsen, and the novelist Sigrid Undset, a Nobel Prize winner for Literature.
  • Norway has many examples of historical architecture built using wood from the forests, and timber remains a popular building material. 
  • The world's longest road tunnel is in Norway. The Lærdal Tunnel is 15.23 miles long. Built from 1995 to 2000, it runs between Lærdal and Aurland. 
  • Fish, including salmon and herring, is an important part of Norwegian cuisine. Cheese, like Jarlsberg and brunost (brown cheese), and bread are also staples of their diet. Traditional dishes include the national dish "fårikål" (lamb and cabbage stew), "lutefisk" (rehydrated dried cured codfish), and "smalahove" (a dish made from sheep's head).

What's It Like to Be a Kid in Norway?

  • Families in Norway tend to be small. Kids are allowed and encouraged to be quite independent.
  • Norwegian kids go to school from mid-August to late June. They learn English beginning in primary school. 
  • Fun activities include Hunderfossen Adventure Park, Høyt & Lavt Climbing Park, and various waterparks, including natural swimming holes and water slides at the Potholes in Nissedal. Kids may also enjoy hiking and viewing the Northern Lights (aurora borealis) with their families. 
  • Popular sports for kids in Norway include association football (soccer), skiing and other winter sports, handball, athletics (track and field), and bicycling. They are not scored or ranked in their sport until they reach the age of 13.
  • "Basse" is a traditional Norwegian ball game played with balls made from strips of rubber bicycle tubes or rubber bands. The goal is to use your body, except arms and hands, to keep the ball from falling into your designated circle while you try to get it into another player's circle.  
  • One dish kids like to eat in Norway is "pølse i lompe" or "sausage in pocket." It is similar to a hot dog and is often eaten on birthdays. Popular desserts include "krumkake," a waffle cookie, and fruit pies, especially with berries and apples. 
  • For school lunch, kids usually bring packed lunches ("matpakke") consisting of fruit or veggies and an open-faced sandwich with toppings ("pålegg") like cheese, ham, hard-boiled or scrambled eggs, and smoked salmon.

The Yolk's On You

Why was Cinderella not very good at softball?

Because her coach was a pumpkin!

That's Berry Funny

What do you use to mend a jack-o-lantern?

A pumpkin patch!

THYME for a Laugh

What is a pumpkin's favorite sport? 

Squash! (like racquetball)

The Yolk's On You

Who helps the little pumpkins cross the road to school?

The Crossing Gourd!

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