Here in Northeast Ohio, we’re ushering in some frigid temperatures which always tends to make everyone think of making hot comfort foods like chili and soup. There’s nothing like a hot steaming cup of soup or a hearty bowl of chili to wrap your hands around and warm your belly.
I personally tend to like spicier soups and chili - it’s an added bonus if it warms your throat and belly too, and spicier foods tend to make you feel fuller longer. Pairing these warming spices with a food that’s naturally higher in liquid content adds even more diet-friendliness to these cold weather staples.
An Easy, Warming, and Adjustably Spicy Soup
Let me first tell the story behind the genesis of this recipe. We had purchased a large can of pumpkin purée to feed to our young dog when he was having some stomach issues. It’s common to feed dogs with diarrhea pure pumpkin purée (none of that sweet stuff, just the puree), to help bulk up their stool and stop diarrhea.
The larger cans of pumpkin (think double the size of a soup can) last quite a bit beyond the small amounts you have to feed your dog to help soothe their belly. So I was curious what I could do with the rest of the can, and I wasn’t in the mood to make a pumpkin pie or other sweet treat with it. Related: Vegetarian Lunches and Carnivore Dinners
I thought, if you can make a soup with squash, which I had heard of before, why couldn't you make a soup with pumpkin. After all pumpkin is in the squash/gourd family and has a nice earthy, slightly sweet taste that could be conducive to a savory soup.
Only 5-6 Ingredients, Tons of Nutrients
For this Pumpkin soup, you will need the following ingredients:
- Large can of pumpkin purée (29 oz)
- 3-4 tablespoons of dry chicken bullion or broth powder
- 1/2 onion
- Garlic - optional, you can use jarred garlic or fresh, to taste
- Whole Milk* - 6 cups
- Half and Half or Heavy Cream* 1 cup (optional, but adds more richness to this recipe)
- Ground Chipotle pepper (you can find this just about anywhere, Wal-mart actually has a pretty good one, or you can get an inexpensive bottle on Amazon). This adds spice, so if you’re spice-averse, use a little at a time. But it adds a wonderful smoky depth to this recipe
*I highly recommend using organic dairy products in this recipe. The fresher taste of organic really makes this soup better. Plus, liquid dairy products like milk and half and half, I really try to buy organic although admittedly I don’t buy everything organic, I pick and choose the highest impact products to buy organic so I don’t break the bank. Dairy products are one of the most important foods to buy organic because animals store toxins in their fat, and dairy is all basically fat. Related: Natural Antibacterial Alternatives
You’re Going to Love How Easy the Rest of This Recipe Is
The amazing thing about canned pumpkin is that it creates enough body and thickness itself. You don’t have to worry about adding thickeners like flour or any other low carb thickeners to get a nice hearty soup. It has tons of fiber, so it really just “makes itself”. Once I made this, I knew that it would be a staple in our kitchen and a recipe I would make over and over. I was right - I’m on my fourth time making it and it’s easy every time.
All you’re going to do is throw all of the ingredients into a large blender or food processor. Blend it all up on pulse until it looks like all ingredients are blended up well. Then throw it on the stove top in a stoneware pot or sauce pan. Heat on medium heat just to get the flavors to mingle. You only have to heat it until it’s hot enough to eat, but if you like to get a lot of flavor that first day, you can simmer it for two hours before eating.
This is one of my favorite lunches now. It’s SO easy. It literally takes about 8 minutes to throw together. Not a lot of dishes or steps to follow, just throw it all in a blender and heat. And it tastes like you put a lot more effort in than you did! Related: Cancer Preventive Benefits of Garlic?
Pumpkin is loaded with fiber, beta carotene, potassium and vitamin C. It is considered very diet-friendly since it is a low- calorie food, and keeps you fuller longer with its high fiber content. Sure, you add fat to the soup with the whole versions of milk products, but you gotta live a little, right?
Plus these organic high fat dairy products help keep you fuller longer in combination with the fiber content of the pumpkin. So you feel satisfied and won’t want to snack as much after you eat something like this for lunch.