Certain times of the year I like to buckle down for a few weeks, eat healthier and drop a few pounds. For me the end of summer is one of them. This Detox Pumpkin Soup, is not only chock-full of vitamins and nutrients , its super low in calories and it’s really, really good!
If you have never tried pumpkin before as a base for a soup, you should! Technically, it is a fruit, however, it resembles vegetables in the squash family in both taste and texture. Just like pepper and apples, pumpkins have a variety of types. The smaller sugar pumpkins are the ones you want when it comes to baking and roasting. They are a little sweeter, less fibrous and their skin is a little darker in color.
I am not an expert by any means when it comes to pumpkins however, I think some varieties are actually vegetables while others are fruits…I just know which ones tastes good, how to cook with them and which I reserve for decorating. That and the fact of pumpkin being a nutritionally dense food with low calories make it something I want to cook with again and again when its in season.
The Nutritional Benefits of Pumpkin:
- Its loaded with Vitamin A – One serving of pumpkin supplies more than double the recommended daily intake of Vitamin A (coming in at over 200%) which is key in assisting your body’s immune system against infections and illnesses. Vitamin A can also help against certain types of Cancer’s, protects eyes against age-related decline and night blindness and more.
- Pumpkin has almost zero fat and is very low in calories! It contains about 0.2% per cup (cooked).
- Pumpkin is loaded with vitamins and nutrients such as Potassium, vitamin C and E, iron, B-12 and more. Plus its 3 grams of fiber and 2 grams of protein per serving.
- When it comes to carbs, it comes in at about 12 grams of carbs per cup which compared to say quinoa or rice which are at least double the carbs without the same nutritional punch (however with pumpkin, almost zero fat and more nutrients) and pumpkin is 1/4 of the calories.
What Is The Best Way To Cook Pumpkin?
My favorite way to prepare pumpkin for savory uses is by simply cutting it into thick slices and placing them onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. I brush each slice with a little bit of oil (grapeseed, avocado or olive) and then season with salt and pepper and roast at 375 for 35-50 minutes (depending on the size of what I am roasting). That is exactly how I prepare it for this Detox Pumpkin Soup recipe. You can also prepare it this way and enjoy it as a side vegetable (if you want a little heat, sprinkle with a bit or red (cayenne) pepper when you season.
Roasted pumpkins are a delicious idea as a part of a cheese or charcuterie board or as a side vegetable. Really! Even one of those small decorative pumpkins, roasted, is delicious spread onto a baguette or a hunk of cheese.
I have been having a blast meeting new friends in Kathy Sledge’s twice a week Family Room on Instagram. We all talk music, support one-another, Kathy and her daughter Kristen discuss various topics, have special guests ( I fan-girled out when Nile Rogers came in the “Family Room”!!) and so much more and bonus, Kathy often treats us with a song. We recently started an “I Can’t Weight” Challenge. Where many of us pledged to eat healthier and move more for a few weeks. We kicked it of with my oh-so-scrumptious (and so good for you) Tomato Detox Soup (pictured below) last Wednesday. This week we will move on to this roasted Pumpkin Soup Recipe.
The soups are meant to replace two of your meals each day for 5 days or so, then eat a sensible dinner or lunch. Things like lean cuts of beef, chicken, pork of fish with a salad and or veg. Kathy’s son Phillip(who happens to be a fitness trainer) just joined in the fun and is helping us workout our abs twice a week. I can attest to the workout, my abs hurt (in a good way) for days after the first 30 minute workout.
A big bowl of this Detox Pumpkin Soup soup is under 150 calories while delivering some great nutrition and antioxidant benefits.
Check out Kathy out on Instagram to follow along if you like and join in the #FamilyRoom lives and fun. I am often a guest talking about various soups, desserts and cocktails.
If you have any questions about the Soup Challenge, the Tomato Detox Soup or this Detox Pumpkin Soup, reach out to me via message on Facebook or Instagram or just leave a comment on this pots. Come on and join in! When I do my Tomato Detox Soup as I explained above, I typically drop 5-7 pounds in 5 days. It helps my jeans fit better!!
Both this Pumpkin Soup and the Tomato Soup are loaded with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals from ingredients like ginger, onion, garlic, tomatoes, pumpkin and turmeric. Both are very low in calories and both deliver big on flavor. For crunch (and additional benefits) I add pepitas (the inside of pumpkin seeds) to the top of my soups. Buy either roasted salted pepitas or raw pepitas (I eat them raw or you can toast them in the oven for a few minutes). They make me feel more satisfied. My daughter and I put them on soups, salads and eat them as a snack.
I also have a fun and festive recipe for Pumpkin Pie Biscotti (oh yea!) and a scrumptious Pumpkin Crunch Cake AND a unique recipe for Pumpkin Pie, the way the Pilgrims would have had to make it…There was no flour in America at that time, so what they did was make a custard IN a pumpkin over the fire. This is my take on that and its ah-mazing for Thanksgiving!
Detox Pumpkin Soup
- 1 pumpkin look for a smaller pumpkin (about 3-4 pounds) often referred to as a sugar pumpkin
- 1 TBS oil (olive, grapeseed or avocado)
- 1 sweet onion (I like Vidalia) Or a heaping cup (1 1/4 cup)
- 3 TBS garlic paste or 3-4 large cloves of garlic, minced
- 3 TBS ginger paste or 2 TBS minced fresh ginger
- 1 red chili pepper This can be HOT, so start with 1/2 and go from there if you do not enjoy spicy. You can also substitute jalapeno or red (cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes
- 3/4 cup chopped carrots (feel free to add more)
- a few sprigs fresh Thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 TBS fresh turmeric or a scant teaspoon dried turmeric
- salt and pepper
- 1 quart (4 cups) vegetable stock/broth
- spritz of fresh lemon juice
- Optional garnish of pepitas (the inside of pumpkin seeds) honey, cream or croutons
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Wipe down your pumpkin with a damp towel. First cut off the top where the steam is, and then proceed to cut each side off of the pumpkin (think 4 sides). Finally cut the bottom off. Remember the center of the pumpkin is hollow, filled with pulp and seeds, so you are cutting around that. (See notes)
- Throw away the pulp and seeds (or rinse off the seeds and save them for roasting or your animal friends). Cut your pumpkin into 1 1/2 - 2 inch long slices. Once slices are all cut, use a small spoon and scrape off any pulp and seeds left sticking to each slice.
- Place slices onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet (easy cleanup). Brush lightly with grapeseed, avocado or olive oil and then season well with salt and pepper. and roast for 40-50 minutes or until a fork slides easily into the the slices.
- Turn oven off and allow pumpkin to sit in the oven for another 10 minutes, remove and cool a bit until you can handle the slices. Once you can handle them, slide a paring knife or other small knife between the flesh of the pumpkin and its skin to remove the skin. Throw skin away and reserve pumpkin for the soup.
- While the pumpkin cools, heat your soup pot over medium high heat and add in the oil, onion, garlic, ginger, red chili pepper and carrots and saute for 4 minutes. Add in the pumpkin, thyme, bay leaf, and turmeric. Mix, season with salt and pepper and saute for a few minutes.
- Add in vegetable stock cover, bring to a boil and then lower heat and allow soup to simmer for 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat and either use an immersion blender or carefully puree in a blender (in batches if necessary). Placing a dish towel over the lid of the blender and pressing down as you pulse. Once soup is smooth, return it back to your rinsed-out soup pot, taste and adjust seasoning or spicy level to your liking.
- Garnish with pepitas, croutons, thyme sprigs, a drizzle of cream or a drizzle of honey (yum!!) and enjoy! I actually like to mix honey with red pepper (cayenne) and drizzle that on for an extra sweet and spicy kick.