PUMPKIN SOUP!

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I am a cook that uses seasonal fruits and vegetables in recipes fitting for what time of year it is. Once summer is over and fall hits the air I look forward to heartier vegetables like sweet potatoes, cauliflower, butternut squash, broccoli, and pumpkin. I love to make soup using fall and winter veggies and one of my favorites is Pumpkin. Not only is it satisfyingly delicious, eating pumpkin supports heart health because of the fiber, Vitamin C, and potassium which helps hypertension and high blood pressure. “Pumpkin seeds contain omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, antioxidants, and fiber. This combination has benefits for both the heart and liver. The fiber in pumpkin seeds helps lower the total amount of cholesterol in the blood and decrease the risk of heart disease”. For me sitting at the dinner table or by the fireplace with a cup of hot soup on a chilly night cuddled on the couch in front of the TV with Tony and the dogs, there’s no better feeling, except when my kids are home to visit us (they visit often thank God) it is the happiest place on earth to me!

PUMPKIN SOUP

INGREDIENTS    

Serves 4-6
1/3-cup extra virgin olive oil
2 medium onions, peeled and sliced thin
4 scallions, chopped coarsely
1 tablespoon dry sherry
1-teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1 (29 ounces) can pure organic pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
1-quart homemade chicken stock or store-bought organic chicken or vegetable broth.
(6 ounces) full fat cream cheese, cut into small pieces. Measurement for ounces is on the cream cheese package.

Garnish:

  • 1 tablespoon low-fat sour cream, or Plain organic Greek yogurt for each serving
  • 4 scallions, finely chopped small
  • 1 small jalapeño, sliced thin (optional)
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
  • Walnut oil or extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
  • chopped walnuts or pistachios
  • cayenne pepper to taste or crushed red chili flakes to taste!

Instructions:

  1. On medium-high heat, heat a medium saucepan until hot. Add olive oil, onions, scallions, and stir.
  2. Turn heat down to medium. Sauté until the onions start to caramelize ( about 10 to 12 minutes.) Add sherry and stir.
  3. Add the cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, cayenne pepper, pumpkin, mix well.
  4. Add the chicken stock and stir until all of the ingredients are blended together.
  5. Lower the heat and simmer for 40 minutes, until the soup starts to thicken slightly. If the soup is too thick, add more chicken stock or water, 1/2 cup at a time. Turn off heat.
  6. Fill a blender halfway with the soup and half of the cream cheese, blend unit smooth.
  7. Pour back into a bowl. Continue the process with the rest of the soup and the cream cheese until everything has been blended well.
  8. Place the soup back into the pot and heat on the stove until hot.
  9. Serve the soup piping hot, divide the garnish for each serving with a dollop of sour cream or the yogurt, finely chopped scallions, chopped jalapeño, pomegranate seeds, a drizzle of walnut or olive oil, and a pinch of cayenne!

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