Updated: Nov 7
National Pumpkin Day was last week — October 26th to be exact. We had a bit of a celebration in this house making all things pumpkin so I remember it well.😄🎃
One of the dishes we made was a velvety pumpkin soup that turned out oh.em.gee delicious.😋 It's easy, nourishing, soothing and will make your taste buds and your belly really happy because it's bursting with flavor and boatloads of nutrition. Standout ingredients include zingy ginger, which contains the anti-inflammatory compound gingerol, as well as other phytonutrient superstars. Fun fact about ginger: It has gone head to head with pain prescription medicine in research studies and has shown to be just as effective!
Another standout ingredient is prebiotic-rich onion. The gut loves prebiotic fiber, the type found in many plant-based foods, and the allium family (onions, garlic, shallots, leeks) are some of the richest of prebiotic fiber. Oftentimes, when the gut is happy, the rest of the body, including the brain and the mind, are happy.
Then, of course, there's our beloved pumpkin. You probably know the carving pumpkins well given the time of year. (By the way, are you having as much fun as we are, seeing the creative pumpkin carvings on neighborhood porches? It seems like folks outdo each other year after year!) There's also the adorable sugar pie pumpkin. In case the name didn't give it away, it's the kind you can use to make pie from fresh pumpkin, but you can also roast this baby boo and use it in soups, grain bowls, and salads.
No need to purchase expensive superfoods like goji berries or speciality powders when you have true superfoods right in your backyard, particularly, sugar pie pumpkin. This hearty gourd is jam packed with anti-inflammatory nutrients, like vitamin A, vitamin C, and fiber. Learn about the power of pumpkin, as well as the tiny but mighty seeds, in our 10 Healthy Reasons to Fall in Love With Pumpkin article.
If you want to add even more nutritional and tasty goodness to this soup, top it with fresh herbs, like cilantro, basil, or chives. You could also stir in some spinach after it's blended for a creamy spinach pumpkin soup. Or sprinkle pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds) on top for some fun crunch.
How to Get 5-A-Day Through Blended Soups
Do you know that one in ten Americans don't get enough fruits and veggies each day? Shooting for a minimum of five servings of veggies a day can help your gut, brain, body, and mind be healthy and happy, but it's difficult to do for many people given the busyness of life. One delicious way to get almost all of your vegetables servings in one sitting is by making (and slurping!) a creamy velvety plant-based soup.
Here’s the blueprint for any creamy soup:
1. Sauté aromatics (this can be one whole onion and garlic plus any other aromatics you’d like to include like ginger, whole spices or lemongrass).
2. Next add 2–3 cups of root veggies like carrots, potatoes, pumpkin, turnips, or beets. Now would be a great time to add hardy herbs too like rosemary or thyme.
3. Add spices and veggie broth. I find that adding 3–4 cups of veggie broth is a good amount. Start with a smaller amount and add more if you’d like a thinner consistency (you’ll know this after blending). Boil until veggies are tender, about 10–15 minutes.
4. Once veggies are tender, allow them to cool a bit before adding to a high speed blender (might need to do this in batches) or use immersion blender to blend your stock and veggies into velvety deliciousness.
5. Divide between bowls and top with greens like micro greens, tender herbs like basil or cilantro, and a sprinkle of seeds like pumpkin, sunflower or hemp seeds.
🥣 make the soup even creamier by substituting one cup of plant or coconut milk for veggie broth. Or blend silken tofu into the soup.
🥣 Add more veggies like cauliflower, asparagus or broccoli when you add the root veggies to make the soup even more plant-powered.
This Warming Creamy Pumpkin Soup is a great example of the blueprint above!
Let me know what you think when you try it.
Oh, and happy National Pumpkin Day every day!
Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 35 minutes
1 whole sugar pie pumpkin (not the large carving pumpkin, but the cute medium 4-5 pound pumpkins that are perfect for baking)
1–2 Tbsp olive or avocado oil (omit for oil-free)
2 medium yellow onions or 1 large yellow onion, minced (about 2 cups)
1 Tbsp ginger, minced
2 cups vegetable broth (plus more, depending on the consistency you'd like)
1 13.5 ounce can light coconut milk
2 tsps ground cumin
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
3/4 tsp salt
black pepper to taste
cilantro, basil, or chives (optional)
dash of cayenne pepper (optional)
How to make
Heat oven to 400 degrees.
Cut pumpkin in half and remove the seeds with a spoon. (Tip: Save the seeds to make roasted pumpkin seeds! Find a recipe here.)
Lay the pumpkin, flesh down, on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Bake for approximately 35 minutes (until fork tender).
Let cool before removing skin from pumpkin, roughly cut into chunks and set aside.
Soup (prepare while the pumpkin is baking)
While the pumpkin is cooking, make the vegetables: In a large pot, heat oil on medium high heat or omit for oil-free.
Once the pot is hot, add the onions, sautéing them on medium heat for about 3 minutes or until they're translucent.
Add the ginger, ground cumin, ground cinnamon, and nutmeg, stirring to coat the onions with the spices.
Add the vegetable broth and coconut milk, bring to a boil then simmer for 5 minutes.
Allow the broth mixture to cool slightly while the pumpkin finishes cooking.
Once the pumpkin is tender, and you've removed the skin and cut it into cubes, add the pumpkin and the broth to a blender.
Blend until all ingredients are pureed. Alternatively, if you have an immersion blender, add the cooked pumpkin to the stovetop pot and blend with an immersion blender until smooth.
Taste and add more spices or salt as needed. If you'd like a thinner consistency, add 1/4 cup of vegetable broth at a time until the desired consistency is reached.
Serve in soup bowls, add cracked black pepper, chopped herbs or microgreens, pepitas, or a dash of cayenne if you like a little spice.
Hooray for pumpkin! See why this gourd tops my list of fave powerhouse plant food.
Nutrition Per Serving:
175 calories, 5 grams protein, 7 grams fat, 3 grams saturated fat, 20 grams carbohydrate, 5.5 grams fiber, 171 mg sodium
Want to dive further into plant-based eating?
Visit all plant-based recipes here.
Visit the blog for more plant-based articles here.