Foodie influencer, Samantha Saliba shares her velvety pumpkin soup, full of depth and enriched with seasonal flavours.
It’s pumpkin season and this super squash is more than a Halloween centre piece. We love how the bold orange adds vibrancy to local fields and this bright colour also signifies a highly nutritious veggie for a happy tummy…read on.
Did you know we can tell a lot about the nutrient value of a food based on its’ colour? As a general rule bright, bold, and deep colours mean higher levels of powerful compounds that help protect us against chronic health conditions. The glowing orange hue of a pumpkin comes from the colourful compound beta-carotene. Other squashes, sweet potato, carrots, peppers, apricot, cantaloupe melon and dark green leafy veg (always an exception to the rule) also top the beta-carotene table.
Benefits of Beta-Carotene / Vitamin A
Why is Beta-Carotene so important? It’s an antioxidant that the body converts into vitamin A which is otherwise found preformed in foods such as liver, fish, and eggs, therefore if you follow a vegetarian or vegan diet it’s even more important to eat more of these colourful fruits and vegetables. How well the body absorbs beta-carotene is based on good gut health and the presence of healthy fat when eating, and secondly your genetics impact how efficiently you convert beta-carotene to vitamin A. Perhaps this partly explains why some people are more natural adapters to a vegan diet.
- Immunity: helps strengthen the immune system and the ability to fight infections.
- Eye Function: maintenance of normal vision, especially night vision.
- Anticancer Properties: beta-carotene functions as an antioxidant, helping protect cells against certain cancers.
- Gut Health: helps make the gut wall barrier strong and interacts with healthy gut bugs.
- Healthy Skin: beta-carotene offers the skin some natural protection against UV rays.
Pumpkin is also loaded with immune-boosting vitamin C and dietary fibre which supports balanced blood sugar levels and healthy digestion.
Knowing all these foodie health facts, how about a pumpkin recipe that will nourish your body and warm you to the core during these colder evenings?
Here, Samantha Saliba shares shows us how to make this delicious maple roasted velvety pumpkin soup and impress your dinner guests by serving from actual pumpkin bowls. Simply wonderful!
maple roasted pumpkin soup
Time: 1 hr 15 minutes. Serves: 6
- 2 pumpkins (medium sized)
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 onion sliced
- A pinch of thyme
- A pinch of nutmeg
- Olive oil
- 1/3 cup maple syrup and more to drizzle before roasting vegetables.
- 4 cups of chicken stock (can substitute with vegetable stock)
- 3/4 cup heavy cream (in this recipe lactose free cream was used and you can also substitute with coconut milk for a vegan version)
Caramelised pumpkin seeds ingredients
- Pumpkin seeds reserved from the pumpkins
- 1tsp of salt
- Maple syrup (enough to glaze)
- Olive oil (enough to glaze)
- Preheat oven to 180 C.
- Cut off the tops of your pumpkins as neatly as possible and spoon out the seeds and pulp.
- Scoop out the pumpkin flesh using an ice-cream scoop or tablespoon and lay them in a dish with a baking sheet. Add the garlic and onion to the tray and drizzle with maple syrup and thyme. Cover with foil and roast in oven for about 45 minutes until pumpkin is fork-tender.
- In the meantime, start preparing you pumpkin seeds. Remove any pulp from the seeds and rinse them in a colander.
- Boil the seeds in water with one teaspoon of salt for 10 minutes.
- Drain the seeds, place in a small oven dish and toss with olive oil and maple syrup.
- Put your dish of seeds in the preheated oven and roast uncovered for 25 minutes. Set aside when ready and crumble seeds apart.
- Place the roasted vegetables in a large pot and use an immersion blender to blend the vegetables. Add the chicken stock, 1/3 cup maple syrup and nutmeg and cook on low-medium heat in your pot until boiling, then simmer for 10 minutes.
- Pour in the cream (or coconut milk) and blend again until you achieve a velvety consistency.
- Pour into your bowl or your reserved hollow pumpkin.
- Garnish with some cream (or coconut milk) and the roasted pumpkin seeds (these can be eaten whole as a crunchy topping). Serve with some homemade croutons.
- If you have any leftovers or would like to plan ahead, store in the refrigerator in an air tight container and consume in 3-4 days or else freeze in a freezer bag for consumption within 2-3 months.
Enjoy folks and keep cosy!
Recipe and Images: Samantha Saliba