Vibrant color and luscious flavor make this soup an autumn delight. Ready in just 30 minutes, this vegan, gluten-free recipe is rich in flavor and heart-healthy nutrients, including disease-fighting antioxidants. Research suggests that pumpkins and their seeds support cardiovascular health while reducing risk for type 2 diabetes, lowering inflammation and improving blood pressure. Be sure to buy unsweetened pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling.
For the pumpkin soup:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, peeled and diced
4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped
1½ tablespoons ground cumin
1½ tablespoons dried oregano
8 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
2 15-ounce cans pumpkin puree
15 ounce can white beans, drained
2 tablespoons lime juice
For the topping:
½ cup raw pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
Fresh cilantro, finely chopped (optional)
Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Sauté onions until softened (about 3-4 minutes). Add garlic, jalapeño, cumin and oregano and cook for one additional minute. Add broth, pumpkin puree and beans. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes. Stir in lime juice and simmer for three more minutes. Use an immersion blender to puree soup until smooth.
While the soup is cooking, spread pumpkin seeds in an even layer in a frying pan over medium high heat. Sprinkle with a dash of cayenne and stir with a wooden spoon until seeds are lightly browned and fragrant (about three to four minutes). Transfer soup to a tureen or serving bowl. Top with toasted pumpkin seeds and cilantro (if using), then enjoy! Serves eight to ten. Adapted from Simplyrecipes.com and Aspicyperspective.com.