As a child I always considered Pumpkins to be a sidekick to the delicious spread that Indian cuisine could line up. To be honest, how could this large ball of a plant, match up to our Rajmas and our Palak Paneers? Pumpkins were never the first choice, they were begrudgingly accepted and eaten, without much to comment on or be excited about. Growing up and viewing all the American sitcoms, we were introduced to the Jack-O-Lanterns and Thanksgiving pie fillings and my interest was but mildly piqued. However, the true power of this orange plant came to me, post a health scare and a lifestyle overhaul.
Much like how all good things are valued in their own time, I eventually came to appreciate the power punch that this nutritionally dense plant packs, without a high-calorie intake. The beta-carotene in pumpkins can reduce your chances of developing certain types of cancer, protect you against asthma and heart disease, decrease the risk of obesity, all the while delaying body degeneration and ageing (I know that sounds like overselling the benefits, the truth, however, is that there are many more benefits, and I’m just listing few!)
My adventurous palate has sampled it in almost every shape and form, from desserts to salads, to preserves and even as a butter substitute, but there is an age-old recipe, that has become my fall-favourite and what I like to call my fall ritual. Nothing warms my heart and heralds the arrival of fall like a delicious, easy to make bowl of pumpkin soup and my go-to recipe will end up becoming your fall ritual as well.
So here it is:
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 45 Minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
- 500 gms Diced Pumpkin (De-Seeded & Skin Removed)
- 2 Medium Onions
- 6 Cloves of Garlic
- 2 cups veggie stock/water
- 2 tbsp. Cream/ Coconut Milk (if looking for a Vegan/Dairy-Free Option)
- 1 tbsp. EVOO/Rice Bran Oil
- 1/4 tsp Paprika/ Red Chili Powder
- 1/2 tbsp. Italian seasoning
- 1/4 tsp Nutmeg Powder
- 1/4 tsp Crushed Black Pepper
- Salt to taste
- Optional: Pumpkin Seeds/Basil/Parsley for garnish
I generally make vegetable stock at home and store it. However, for instant fixes stock cubes by companies like Maggi, Knorr work just as well.
If you do use stock cubes, then it’s better to adjust your salt quantity post adding the stock water as it already has a high salt content.
1 stock cube suffices for this soup preparation.
Method of Preparation:
- In a pan, take your choice of cooking oil and let it heat but not smoke. Add to it chopped onions and garlic.
- Stir fry them, till they start turning translucent and golden.
- Add the diced and de-seeded pumpkins (with their skin removed) to the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes
- Add 1 cup stock/water along with the spices (except salt) and let it cook
- Once you feel that the pumpkin has softened and is cooked through, you can puree the stew in a food processor or with a hand blender (I personally find the food processor really better)
- Transfer the contents back into the soup pot and then add another cup of water (if you like your soup thick then adjust the water quantity according to your tastes)
- Now is the time you taste the salt and see if the spices need any adjustment.
- Cook it on medium heat for another 10 minutes and then take it off the heat.
- You can serve it with a drizzle of cream/coconut milk with your choice of garnish. If looking for a healthy low-fat version, then without any cream/coconut milk is just as delicious.
Nutritional Information Per Serving:
- Calories: 176kcal
- Fat: 9 gms
- Saturated Fat: 3.8 gms
- Sodium: 140 mg
- Carbohydrates: 22 gms
- Fiber: 4.6 gms
- Protein: 3.8 gms
So there you have it, your hearty, healthy and tasty bowl of pumpkin soup.
Hope you relish this recipe and have a fantastic fall! Bon Appetit!
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