I’m sure you’ve eaten pumpkin countless times in the form of pie? Or perhaps even experimented with pumpkin seed butter on toast? Which by the way has the same amount of protein as peanut butter but a far better mineral profile – yes, more nutritious. But have you ever bought a wee pumpkin and made something savoury with it?
Well my beauties, to roast a pumpkin will feel like a small achievement (my first time roasting a pumpkin was just last year and I was a little intimidated… at first). But I’m thrilled to tell you that this recipe was as easy as pumpkin pie! Ahem, correction.. as easy as eating pumpkin pie. Just look at how beautiful my soup turned out!
And the best part? It tasted like a warm hug feels – comforting and uplifting. So, if you are a pumpkin-cooking virgin, I encourage you to visit your local farmers market this week and get yourself this wonderful Fall vegetable from the squash family. In Ontario (and many other parts of the world) we are so lucky because mama earth has provided us with an incredible superfood grown close to home!
But first, for all you nutritional nerds out there, here are a few amazing health benefits of pumpkin:
- Rich in immune-enhancing, cancer preventing carotenes. In fact, the richer the colour, the higher the concentration.
- Vitamin C, B vitamins, fibre and trace minerals including potassium and selenium.
- It even contains lutein, an important phytochemical for eye health.
- Small pumpkin (remove the seeds and stringy bits, cut into large chunks, peel). You can sub for 2 med size acorn squash if you don’t have pumpkin.
- 2 sweet onions, chopped
- 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
- 2 tbsp organic coconut oil
- 4 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- 2-3 cups hemp or almond milk (this makes it creamy)
- 4-6 cups stock or filtered water
- Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 365F. Place pumpkin chunks, onions and sweet potato into a large baking dish with 1/4 water in dish. See below.
Bake until fork-tender, about 45-60 minutes. Remove them from the oven and set them aside to cool.
Once cooled, place all the roasted ingredients into your food processor and the raw garlic. You may need to do this in batches depending how large your processor is.
Add in some hemp milk or filtered water to help blend. Once blended, move the mixture to a large pot on your stove. Add the remaining hemp milk, water and spices. Allow the soup to simmer for 15 minutes or so, stirring occasionally on low to medium heat.
I sprinkled some raw sheep’s milk cheese and arugula on top. The natural sweetness of the nutmeg was warming and lovely. If you let it sit overnight in the fridge the flavours will mingle and be even more smashingly delicious the next day.
Little story for you. So I had some special guests for dinner this weekend – Ma and Pa McCarthy came in from the North country. We had a lovely day, strolled through Cabbagetown, went to Mylk Uncookies for an almond milk drink and then came home to cook.
My menu was stuffed mushrooms (see recipe, but I heated them for 10 minutes in the oven at 350F), this pumpkin soup, marinated organic chicken from Whole Foods and sauteed spicy aspargus. And dessert was out-of-this-world if I do say so myself. I made coconut milk custards in these pretty little ramekins! A student from my Eat Well Feel Well course made the recipe for our potluck and it was SO good I had to re-create it. I will definitely be posting that recipe this week.
So we sit down to dinner, have a toast with our vino and begin to dive in. My mom stops us and says… “wait a minute, aren’t we supposed to put good energy into our food and bless it or something??!!” Note: My parents are not overly religious. What my mom meant was …. let’s take a moment to be thankful for our food and put good energy into it.
She was absolutely right. By taking a moment to be grateful and thankful for our food we calmed our nervous system, infused positivity into the room and allowed time for our digestive signals to tell our gut – LET’S EAT! Taking a moment actually improves your digestion!!
Lasting thought for you: Put love and joy into every morsel you create for your most joyous health ever.