And while thats not the best analogy, the same can be said for Pumpkin Soup.
There are literally HUNDREDS of variations to this humble winter staple, but in the spirit of giving, I'm sharing my personal version with you. I love my soups thick and rich and nutritious and this pumpkin soup is exactly that. It's also supercharged with extra nutrient-dense foods, which I'll explain in a moment :)
Reasons to love Pumpkin Soup;
Gentle low GI fibre for bowel health
Rich in minerals and the Vitamin A precursor, beta carotene
Cheap to make for the end of those pay weeks!
Easy to make in bulk (and freezes well!)
Perfectly warming for these cold nights
Contains immune boosting nutrients ginger, curcumin (a powerful anti-inflammatory), Vit C, Zinc, and Magnesium.
Creamy Spiced Pumpkin Soup
1 large butternut pumpkin, hulled & diced, skin on.
1 medium sweet potato, peeled & chopped.
1 knob of fresh ginger (approx 1 inch square) finely diced or grated
Cinnamon powder (optional)
1 tablespoon of turmeric powder
1 teaspoon of chopped fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon of paprika
3-4 cups of stock of choice (I use Australia's Own Organic Chicken-flavoured stock if I don't have any real stock in the house)
1.5 cups (approx 400g or 1 tin) of pre-soaked chickpeas
1 teaspoon of organic butter to serve (optional)
Salt & pepper to taste
Line an oven tray with baking paper, arrange your sweet potato and pumpkin, spray with coconut oil and dust with cinnamon, and place in the oven at 180 degrees for 30 mins.
Remove roasted veg and place in a large pot with all the other ingredients except coconut milk
Add enough water to cover the veg.
Bring to the boil and then reduce to a simmer.
Cook until completely softened (approx 10-20 mins, depending on how roasted the vegetables were)
Allow to cool slightly, and then use a stick-blender to blitz in the pot, or blend in batches with a bench top blender.
Stir through 1 can of coconut milk & reheat in the pot
Serve with crusty sourdough or toasted flatbread
Points to Note:
Pre-roasting your veg is entirely optional. I like to do it because it intensifies the flavour, and adds a hint of sweetness to the pumpkin & potato, which pairs perfectly with the spices. If you're not pre-roasting, you'll need to simmer the pot for longer.
It's VERY important that you allow the soup to cool before blending. It can explode or spit during blending and we don't want messy kitchens, stained shirts, or burnt hands!
Chickpeas are an excellent protein source, they contributes to feelings of satiety (that means you're fuller for longer!), it slows down your digestion to allow for maximum nutrient absorption, and they're rich in b vitamins and minerals such as zinc & iron. You can substitute chickpeas for white beans, quinoa, or lentils too. As this meal doesn't require a lot of cooking time in the pot, pre-soaking the beans or legumes (or using the canned variety) is important to avoid that crunchy, nutty, flour texture!
Several key nutrients in this recipe are fat soluble, which means there needs to be fat in digestion to facilitate their absorption. A dollop of butter or using a full-fat coconut milk not only adds to the creaminess, but helps you to absorb essential nutrients. Fat (unlike carbohydrates) also triggers the receptors in the gut to signal that you've had a nourishing meal. People who eat a fat with every meal tend to eat less calories, on average, than those who don't! Interesting huh?