I walked into the grocery store today and was all but hit in the face with a sea of orange – pumpkin everything! Although it would be much easier to grab a can of pumpkin soup from the store (and I was tempted by the pyramid display of soup cans), the flavor and health benefits of pumpkin soup from scratch really can’t be topped. This soup takes time (roll up your sleeves for a solid 1-2 hours in the kitchen). It’s a nourishing soup, perfect for a crisp fall day – and ideal to re-heat for lunches and dinners during the week (making that extra time spent in the kitchen totally worthwhile!).
The show stopper here is the pumpkin – it’s stacked high with vitamin A and is a nice source of potassium. The cauliflower is rich in vitamin C and vitamin K and adds another layer of hearty nutrients and flavor to this soup. Both cauliflower and pumpkin are valuable sources of antioxidants – and this recipe will yield a hefty pot full of nourishment.
4 cups cauliflower pieces
1 ½ onion
2 cloves of garlic, diced finely
1 bay leaf
1 Tsp cumin
1 Tsp sea salt
1 Tsp cracked pepper
4 cups organic, free range, chicken broth
5 Tbsp cold pressed olive oil
Flat leaf parsley for garnish
*For a vegan version of the soup, substitute vegetable broth for the chicken broth.
Preheat the oven to 400F and follow these tips for roasting the pumpkin.
In a large soup pot, heat 4-5 Tbsp of olive oil. Cut 1 onion into 1 inch slivers. Over medium heat, add the onions to the oil and sauté for 5 minutes. While the onions are heating, wash and cut the cauliflower into bite-size pieces. Add the cauliflower to the mixture of onions and stir. Sauté for another 5 minutes until the onions are translucent and the cauliflower starts to brown.
Add 1 cup of stock to the pot and stir well. Add the garlic pieces to the mixture and simmer for a few minutes. Add freshly grated pepper, a dash of salt, and 1 tsp of cumin. Add the rest of the stock and simmer until the cauliflower is soft – likely another 10-15 minutes.
When the pumpkin has finished roasting, remove it from the oven and set aside. Allow the cauliflower and stock mixture to cool as well as the next step involves blending both mixtures and it’s best to wait until ingredients aren’t piping hot.
Add the cauliflower and soup stock to the blender and blend well. Reserve some of the purely liquid broth in a side bowl to keep the blender running smoothly while blending both the cauliflower and pumpkin. Once you have blended the cauliflower soup, return these ingredients to the large pot.
Cut the pumpkin into quarters or large slices. Remove the skin from the pumpkin and cut into 4-inch chunks. Slowly add these to the blender and cut evenly with the reserved soup stock. When the blended pumpkin takes on a smooth consistency, introduce the pumpkin puree to the cauliflower/onion puree and mix together in the soup pot. Simmer over low heat and stir well so that the orange pumpkin puree and white cauliflower puree mix together evenly.
Top with fresh cracked pepper or a dash of cumin. Garnish with fresh Italian flat leaf parsley. More than just a garnish, parsley is a nice source of vitamin K and helps to neutralize some carcinogens. Cumin is good for the immune system and helps with liver detoxification.