Meatless Monday Recipes: Pumpkin Soup courtesy of inSHAPE

The pumpkin is a beloved, if not difficult, ingredient in hearty autumn dishes. A large squash that is equally satisfying in both savory and sweet dishes, the pumpkin deserves a spot on everyone’s table! This tasty soup is surprisingly easy to prepare and tastes great. Coupled with a green salad, your Monday dinner will become an event to celebrate.

Pumpkin Soup
Pumpkin Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 small pumpkin (we used a sugarloaf pumpkin)
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 large celery stalk, sliced
  • 1 large garlic clove, sliced
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 4-5 cups of water
  • 1 cup cream, half n half, or non-dairy liquid for thickening (see notes below)
  • yogurt or creme fraiche and toasted pepitas or pine nuts for garnish (see notes below)

Preparation

Breakdown the pumpkin. Cut it in half then quarters. Scoop out seeds and set aside if you’d like to use them for your garnish. Using a potato peeler, peel skin off each quarter, then cut pumpkin flesh into large cubes.

Using a large pot with a lid (we used large saute pan), heat olive oil on high heat. Saute pumpkin, onion, celery, and garlic. We performed this step in two batches, so as to ensure that the veggies all had access to the bottom of the pan for browning.

Turn down heat to medium, add 4 cups of water, cover, and simmer for about 30 minutes (longer if possible). Turn off heat, then puree soup in either a food processor or blender. Return soup to soup pan and turn on low heat. After about 10-15 minutes, add dairy or non dairy thickener. Cool slightly before serving.

Garnish with a dollop of yogurt and pine nuts (we prefer their taste) and serve.

Notes

  1. Going meatless doesn’t mean that you have to go vegan, though we recognize that a lot of our clients and readers want that option. In lieu of a diary finisher, we suggest preparing a 1 cup mixture of water with 2 tbsp of either flour or Lucini Cinque y Cinque (chick pea flour). The flavor of chick pea flour (make sure that you add a healthy dash of salt to this option) pairs well with the hearty flavors of the vegetables, and it’s full of protein.
  2. Garnishing with creme fraiche or yogurt adds a bit more protein and creaminess, making this soup more of a meal. You could also garnish with toasted kale chips. Pepitas and pine nuts add that last touch of crunchiness, but we went with pine nuts because the pumpkin seed is a bit tricky to harvest, and though the shell is edible, it’s too chewy to fully enjoy as part of a soup.

Find out more about inSHAPE Fitness. Be sure to check them out at www.bodybyinshape.com, on Facebook, and on Twitter.

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