Spiced Pumpkin-Sweet Potato Soup with Kefir


Ever wanted to combine the nourishment of soup with the probiotics of cultured dairy? It can be done.

The problem with the usual recipes is the cooking of yogurt, kefir, or sour cream into the soup. This makes for a creamy soup, but it also kills all of the enzymes and probiotics that make these cultured foods so good.

Instead, why not add freshly cultured milk kefir to a thick soup which has cooled just enough to keep the cultures alive? You don’t need a thermometer, though.

A good rule of “thumb” is to place a clean finger into the center of the soup and if you can hold it in there without it feeling as though it might burn you, then your soup should keep your milk kefir alive and kicking.

Spiced Pumpkin-Sweet Potato Soup with Kefir


  • 1 small baking pumpkin, baked, seeded, and mashed
  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 cups broth or a combination of broth and water
  • 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon each allspice and nutmeg
  • 2 cups whole milk kefir


  1. Sauté onion, celery, and garlic in butter until vegetables begin to soften. Add broth, spices, and honey, and season with salt. The broth should almost cover the vegetables. If it doesn’t, add more water as needed.
  2. Cover, bring to a simmer, and cook 30 to 45 minutes or until all vegetables are very tender. Remove from heat and mash soup up with a potato masher until desired consistency is reached or put it through a blender or food mill as desired. Allow to cool 20 to 30 minutes.
  3. Once soup has sufficiently cooled down, stir in milk kefir. Taste and adjust salt as necessary. Serve warm.


Shannon is a mama to four small children, homesteader, freelance writer, and picture-taker. She lives with her husband on their off-grid homestead where they make and eat kefir, kombucha, sourdough, and fermented vegetables.

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  1. Charles Allison says

    I make a flaxseed muffin with baking powder and containing an egg and applesauce. I “Bake” it in the microwave for about a minute and a half in an insulated mug. I would like to use fermented applesauce but I wonder whether the probiotics would survive the microwave. Any idea how I could find out?

    • says

      Charles Allison – Probiotics will not survive anything beyond about 115-120, depending on who you talk to. Furthermore, I would think that the microwave would completely denature the food itself, not just the enzymes and probiotics.

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