The pumpkins in the supermarket are of the local variety, which has green skin with white strips/patches, a far cry from the orange versions used for carving Jack O’Lanterns. The orange flesh is also of a lighter hue, just like this:
Pumpkins are beta-carotene ‘powerhouses’, as evident from the color (think carrots and papayas as well). Beta-carotene is an important anti-oxidant, which is converted to Vitamin A in the body. Other than beta-carotene, pumpkin is loaded with other vitamins like Vitamin C and K, in addition to minerals like potassium, and depending on what is added to prepare it, pumpkins can be a low calories ‘diet’ food too.
So what did I do with the pumpkin I bought home? Well I made a Roasted Pumpkin soup. In addition, I would like to dedicate this as my first post to Weekend Herb Blogging, an event founded by Kalyn of Kalyn’s Kitchen, whereby bloggers are invited to write about plants, herbs, fruits or vegetables. For this week, WHB is hosted by Meeta, of What's for Lunch, Honey? Do hop over to Meeta's blog for a a re-cap of this week's entries which will be up next Monday and of course, check out Kalyn’s Kitchen if you are interested in joining too!
Roasted Pumpkin Soup (serves 3-4 persons as a starter)
Half a medium pumpkin, de-seeded, cut into chunks
1 carrot, peeled, cut into small chunks
1 potato(I used Yukon Gold), peeled, cut into small cubes
Half a yellow onion, diced
400 to 500 ml chicken stock, plus more if required
1) Place carrot and pumpkin chunks(skin side up) on a roasting tray. Drizzle about 1 tbsp olive oil over. Roast in a preheated 180C oven for about 40 mins, until both vegetables are soft. Set aside until cool enough to handle. Scrape flesh from pumpkins.
2) In the meantime, sauté onions in 1 tbsp olive oil until fragrant. Add potato cubes and fry for about 2 mins. Add in 400ml chicken stock, pumpkin flesh and carrots.
3) Bring to a boil and simmer over low heat until potatoes are soft.
4) Puree the vegetable soup in a blender (in batches if necessary) until smooth. Adjust consistency to your liking by adding more chicken stock. Pour back into the pot and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Add salt and pepper to taste.
5) Serve with a dollop of sour cream if desired.
There is no cream used in preparing in this soup. I used potato to act as a thickening agent. The result: a smooth, thick, sweet soup chockful of veggy goodness.