Before we dive into the recipe-let's talk HEALTH! "Pumpkin has a range of fantastic health benefits, including being one of the best-known sources of beta-carotene.Beta-carotene is a powerful antioxidant that gives orange vegetables and fruits their vibrant color. The body converts any ingested beta-carotene into vitamin A.
Consuming foods rich in beta-carotene may reduce the risk of developing certain types of cancer, offer protection against asthma and heart disease, and delay aging and body degeneration. *" Amazing! The pumpkin seeds, called Pepitas are also power packed little gems that are high in fiber and magnesium and may lower blood sugar, fight cancer, improve heart health and so much more...
Yay! All good news! And here's even more...My Spicy Pumpkin Soup recipe is requested more often than all my other recipes combined. It's quick, it's easy and it tastes like Autumn in a bowl on a chilly night. Yes that is a wee bit dramatic but oh so true! I wait all year to make it, knowing that it will taste best with a dash of patience and a dollop of anticipation.
And here is the best news yet, since we normally don't eat pumpkin all year round, here is a great way to keep it in your diet along with 33 other fruits and veggies plus 52 superfoods and herbs! Now for the soup, because Autumn is upon us... Spicy Pumpkin Soup
1 sugar pumpkin or 1 small can pumpkin
3T butter or olive oil
1 carrot, peeled, finely chopped
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
1/3 c minced sweet onion
1 1/4 c water
3 T light brown sugar or honey
1/2 t salt
1/4 t fresh ground pepper
1/2 t ground nutmeg
1/4 t cayenne pepper
1/4 c heavy cream
1 t sour cream for garnish, optional
1/2 c toasted pumpkin seeds for garnish, optional 1. If using canned pumpkin, skip to step 3. If using a fresh sugar pumpkin, roast whole, uncut pumpkin in a crockpot on high for about 3 hours.
2. Let cool. Cut a large hole in the side of the pumpkin shell, pumpkin guts and seeds should fall right out.
3. Use fingers to separate the seeds. Toss them in melted butter and roast at 325 for 35 minutes.
4. Scoop out the pumpkin flesh with spoon and set aside.
5. Heat oil over medium heat in large sauce pot. Add carrot, celery and onion and cook until all veggies are cooked through and tender.
6. Add pumpkin flesh, water, sugar or honey, salt, pepper, nutmeg and cayenne.
Bring to boil then turn heat down and simmer about 25 minutes.
7. Stir in heavy cream.
8. Use a stick blender, or pour into a countertop blender and blend until smooth. For ultra smooth soup, pour through strainer, pressing pumpkin with the back of a rubber scraper to pass through sieve.
9. Return temp to hot and serve with a dollop of sour cream, toasted pumpkin sees and fresh cracked pepper.
Copyright Sherri Ohler 2013, All rights reserved
*(Source -Medical News Today)