Today we are going to prove to you that comfort food can be healthier with this pumpkin soup recipe.
Pumpkin soup is a popular Thanksgiving recipe across the US, and is a beloved comfort food. The luscious, velvety consistency with a buttery aroma from heavy cream and butter. Some recipes even call for bacon as using the bacon fat to cook the onions and garnishing the soup with crispy bacon bits adds a savory taste and contrast in texture. All these ingredients may make up a delicious comfort food, but they aren’t exactly healthy and may not be suitable for most dieters.
Not to worry, we’re going to give you our healthy take on the classic pumpkin soup. No bacon, no cream, but still rich and tasty!
Is Pumpkin Soup Healthy?
Unlike most recipes, this pumpkin soup is healthy as it is low in fat, calories, and carbohydrates.
Pumpkin— the base of the soup, is what makes the soup healthy. This winter squash is highly rich in vitamin A due to the high level of beta-carotene— a type of carotenoid that gives pumpkins and carrots their signature orange color. It is also packed with vitamins C and E, and minerals to help boost your immune system.
So, to answer the question: yes, this pumpkin soup recipe is healthy.
How Do You Add More Flavor To Pumpkin Soup?
Pumpkin soup is one of the simplest recipes to make. The whole process is basically cooking pumpkin in liquid and blending until smooth. But a simple soup doesn’t equal a boring soup. It can be simple and delicious all at once by adding a few ingredients to give the soup more depth of flavor. Here are some tips on how to do so:
- Using roasted pumpkin: instead of cooking pumpkin in liquids like water, broth, or stock, you can roast the pumpkin until tender and blend with liquids later. Roasting the pumpkin draws out its natural sweetness and gives the soup greater depth of flavor.
- Adding garlic, onion, and leek: these ingredients can be pungent when they’re raw, but once cooked, they will become sweet and aromatic. The addition of these gives the dish a new flavor profile. Simply sweat the onion, garlic, or leek (or all 3) in oil or butter before cooking them with the pumpkin.
- Adding more vegetables: adding in carrots or potatoes in the soup would be a nice way to sneak more veggies into your diet. You can dice the carrots and sweat them along with the onion, or cut potatoes into chunks and cook them along with the pumpkin. Make sure the carrots are the same size as the onions, or potato chunks are as the pumpkin pieces’.
- Using broth or stock instead of water: use vegetable or meat broth or stock as they help to give the soup an aspect of umami flavor. It would be better to use unsalted or low-sodium broth if you’re keeping track of your sodium intake.
Can Soup Be Kept Overnight in A Fridge?
Leftover soup can be kept in the refrigerator overnight. If the soup is still hot, divide it into portions to help it cool down faster. If you want to let the soup come to room temperature, don’t wait for it to cool down for longer than 2 hours. This is a food safety issue as leaving food out to cool for too long can increase the growth of bacteria, making it spoil more easily. If the weather is hot and the temperature is around 90 degrees Fahrenheit or above, you should put the food in the fridge within 1 hour, or dispose of it to ensure food safety.
If you want your soup to last even longer, put it in an airtight container and keep it in the freezer. It can usually last up to 2 months. When you defrost and reheat the soup, check the smell, color, and texture to see if it’s still good to eat.
Pumpkin Soup Recipe
- Cut the pumpkin into cubes. Place them in the steamer basket. Bring the water to boil and over the boiling water. Simmer the water for about 20 minutes. The pumpkin will be soft when cooked.
- In a deep skillet or pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until golden brown, stirring occasionally.
- Add pumpkin to the skillet. Cook for another 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add chicken broth and bring to boil. Turn the heat down to medium and simmer for about 15 minutes or until the pumpkin is fork-tender.
- In a small bowl, mix together softened butter, garlic and parsley. Spread each side of the bread with garlic butter. Place bread on a baking sheet and toast at 425 °F for about 10 minutes or until bread is crisp.
- Transfer the mixture to a blender and blend until smooth (or use an immersion blender). Stir in cream and season with salt.
- Ladle into a bowl or deep dish. Garnish with parsley and serve with garlic bread.
- Be extra careful when handling hot soup or you’ll risk getting burnt. If you have an immersion blender, use it as it can be safer when blending hot soup. If you don’t, here are some safety tips when blending hot food in a blender:
- Do not close the lid tightly, but leave a small gap for the steam to escape.
- Only fill the jug of the blender half-way full or less because when you blend, the steam from the hot soup will push the lid open, which may cause the soup splashing out.
- Face the spout away from you: just in case the soup splashes out, it won’t hit you.
- Place a kitchen cloth over the lid to help hold the lid still while blending.