Food Matters | Jamaican Pumpkin Soup
by Jeanne Parks
Pumpkin is abundant throughout the fall and holiday season, so I love incorporating it into a variety of dishes. Traditionally it receives the most attention in dessert dishes, especially at Thanksgiving. I’ve been on a quest to find savory dishes to highlight pumpkin and this soup is won my affection.
What you eat matters and pumpkin is rich in beta carotene giving it the lovely orange color. Beta Carotene converts to Vitamin A allowing a punch of antioxidants to help fight cancer, heart disease and other age-related diseases. Pumpkins are rich in fiber and a great source of Vitamin C, Riboflavin, Potassium, Copper, and Manganese with smaller but significant amounts of Vitamin E (alpha tocopherol), Thiamin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Iron, Magnesium, and Phosphorus also are present.
Pumpkin seeds contain unsaturated fats known as alpha-linolenic acid, or ALA, which is a type of omega-3 fatty. Diets rich in ALA help to prevent cardiovascular diseases. They are also packed with iron, protein and contain no cholesterol.
Turmeric is a spice gaining a lot of popularity, and rightly so, as it’s one of the most powerful herbs on the planet with so many healing properties. Dr. Axe notes on this herb “Of the 10,000+ studies referencing turmeric, the most interesting finding is that when it’s compared to conventional medicine, turmeric benefits equal that of many pharmaceutical medications. In fact, a number of studies have even reported that using curcumin is more advantageous than certain prescription drugs.” Studies promote its healing properties for treating depression, inflammation, blood clots, cholesterol, diabetes and obesity. Plus, its rich in Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Manganese, Iron, Potassium and Magnesium.
- 1 (15.5 oz) canned pumpkin
- 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 1 red onion, diced
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 (1-inch) piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 2 cups water
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream per person
- ½ cup roasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
- Crock Pot Method: Combine all ingredients into a large crock pot. Place on low heat for 8-10 hours or high heat for 4-6 hours.
- Instant Pot Method: Combine all ingredients into the Instant Pot. Close and manually set pressure to 9 minutes on high. When time has expired, allow it to sit for 10 minutes before depressurizing.
- Once cooked, carefully pour into a blender and blend until smooth.
- Garnish each serving with 1 tablespoon of heavy cream and roasted pepitas.
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