Don’t know what to do with your leftover Halloween pumpkins? We’ve got you covered with nutritionist Zara Syed’s creamy and nourishing pumpkin soup recipe – packed full of flavour, super-healthy, and perfect for the winter months.
You might be sick of the sight of them on supermarket shelves, doorsteps and dining tables, but don’t be dissuaded: this humble orange squash is one of autumn’s culinary delights, and it’s chockablock with health-boosting goodness. Not only does it make the perfect starter for your Halloween party, it also helps tackle food waste (one of Sustainable Merton’s top tips – #PumpkinRescue!).
Pumpkins contain plenty of potassium and vitamin C, and they’re a great source of fibre. They are also rich in beta carotene, a potent antioxidant that is converted by the body into vitamin A – vital for supporting fertility, eyesight and gut health as well as helping us to maintain a healthy immune system. Best of all? They are quickly transformed into a silky-smooth and totally tasty meat-free meal. Here’s how:
PUMPKIN SOUP – INGREDIENTS
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 4 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1/2 large pumpkin, chopped (skin removed, seeds put aside for roasting)
- 2 celery sticks, chopped
- 250g mushrooms, chopped
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- 500ml vegetable stock
- 250ml coconut milk
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- Handful of chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
PUMPKIN SOUP – METHOD
Preheat the oven to 160°C. Place the chopped pumpkin in a baking tray and roast for 20 minutes, or until tender. Roast the seeds in a separate tray for approximately 10 minutes, until golden brown.
Meanwhile, heat the coconut oil in a large saucepan, add the garlic and onion, and cook over a medium-high heat until soft and translucent (about 5–10 minutes).
Add the carrots, celery and mushrooms and cook for another 2–3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the remaining ingredients. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat and cook for around 15–20 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.
Remove from the heat, add the roasted pumpkin flesh and blend the mixture (with a hand blender or however you prefer) until smooth.
Return the soup to the pan, add a splash of water and heat until it reaches the thickness you require.
To serve, ladle into bowls, top with roasted pumpkin seeds and sprinkle with parsley.
Once cool, the soup will keep in the fridge for up to three days; alternatively, it freezes really well.
Written By: Zara Syed | Guest Blogger
Zara is a Registered Nutritionist, with a degree in Biochemistry and a Masters in Clinical Neuroscience. She offers private 1-1 consultations at APPI in Wimbledon Village and The Queen Anne Street Medical Centre. In a world where we are overwhelmed with confusing and often conflicting information around what a healthy diet should look like, Zara offers her clients the opportunity to set up a clear path towards optimal health through bespoke nutrition programmes.