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All Things Pumpkin…continued!

Have I told you that I love fresh pumpkin  (see Spiced Pumpkin Pound Cake)? As the holiday season moves toward its peak, what can be better than a fresh Puréed Pumpkin Soup. The markets are still filled with sugar pumpkins, the sweet edible pumpkins used for pumpkin pies and all things pumpkin.

Pumpkin, like squash, is one of the favored foods of Ayurveda because it is so easy to digest. It’s ideal for vata and pitta. For watery kapha, it’s still fine if balanced with warming spices. I’ve chosen cinnamon, cardamom, allspice and fresh ginger—because I never get tired of those flavors reminiscent of pumpkin pie!

Pumpkin is similar in taste to the winter squashes but pumpkin is far easier to prepare than acorn squash, which is much more difficult to cut open safely.

If you’re working outside the home, it’s probably best to save this recipe for a weekend afternoon because it takes about 10 minutes to clean out the seeds and surrounding pulp; then another 45 minutes to an hour to bake the pumpkin fully—meaning that it is quite tender. Plus, you have to allow another 10 minutes or so to cool the baked pumpkin before you can handle its flesh to purée it. Once you get it to this stage, however, you can finish off the soup in another 15 minutes.

Enjoy this warming Puréed Pumpkin Soup during these holiday weeks, and know that I’m sending warmest holiday greetings from my kitchen to yours!

 

 

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PURÉED PUMPKIN SOUP

Preparation Time: 65 to 90 minutes (about 20 minutes active)
Serves 4 to 6

3 to 4 cups puréed pumpkin from 1 medium or large sugar pumpkin (2 to 3 pounds)
2 tablespoons ghee or coconut oil
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon allspice
3 cups Easy Vegetable Soup Stock
1 to 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
1 to 2 cups plain unsweetened almond milk
1 teaspoon Light Grey Celtic Sea Salt
1 to 2 tablespoons coconut sugar or maple syrup (optional)
8 to 12 pistachio nuts or cardamom pods (optional)

1. Prepare the pumpkin: Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a large baking dish or cookie sheet with parchment paper. Cut the pumpkin in half, scoop out the seeds and strings. (You can discard these or clean the seeds and roast them in the oven. Roasted pumpkin seeds make a wonderful snack!) Place the pumpkin halves flesh down on the paper. Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes to an hour, until the pumpkin flesh is completely tender when you poke it with a fork. Let it cool about at least 10 minutes. Scoop out the flesh, and purée it in a food processor. Check to make sure there are no lumps; if you find any, pulse the pumpkin again until it’s completely smooth. If the purée is watery, strain first and then measure 3 to 4 cups to set aside for the recipe.

2. Make the soup: In a 5- or 6-quart soup pot, heat the ghee or coconut oil on medium-low heat. Add the spices and stir for about 10 seconds. Add the soup stock and puréed pumpkin, and bring to gentle boil. Reduce the heat to low, and simmer another 10 minutes. Add the grated ginger plus 1 cup almond milk, and the salt, and purée the soup. Add additional almond milk if you prefer a thinner soup and more salt to taste. If the pumpkin is a little bitter, you may want to add some sugar or maple syrup…or add it anyway if you like dessert for the main course! And, if you wish, serve with a few pistachio nuts in each bowl or cardamon pods for garnish.

Add a pinch or 2 of cayenne pepper

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