Double, double toil and trouble. Fire burn and caldron bubble. Nothing beats a warm bowl of soup in the fall -- or a warm mug of soup in this case. Soup is one of my favorite things -- especially creamy soups like butternut squash and, well, cream of anything really. The kind of food that warms your body and soul simultaneously, leaving you feeling mellow and cozy.
My husband and I make squash and gourd based soups most often in the fall. I guess because we are surrounded by fall colors and because squash are so easy and cheap to buy and store for long periods at home at this time of year.
I love how squash soup brings vibrant color to any meal -- I've even been known to have it for breakfast! I imagine that there's also a biological reason behind my fall squash cravings -- my guess would be that our skin and hair tend to dry out in the colder months and beta carotene converts to Vitamin A which is an essential vitamin for healthy hair, nails and skin. I think we should try to eat as seasonally and locally as we can to get what nature knows our bodies need at the right times of year.
As anyone who has visited my blog lately must know by now, I love pumpkin and have already shared a few posts dedicated to pumpkin recipes. Today's recipe is a healthy and savory Halloween recipe using pumpkin puree. I know, I know, Halloween means candy. Fine, I am cool with that. But my philosophy is that if you plan to eat a lot of something that's fairly evil, you should probably fill up on something virtuous first so you don't go overboard.
Candy is one of those things that is so engrained in our culture in North America that it seems almost cruel to deny a child candy at Halloween. Collecting and gorging on it is half the experience in my opinion. I was a healthy kid but if I trick or treated to a house that handed me an apple or a box of raisins, I'd feel, well, ripped off. That being said, I actually love apples and raisins! But there's a time and a place.
There are countless homemade Halloween dessert recipes on the web this week so I'm sure you won't have trouble finding any if that's what you're after. Rather than follow the crowd I wanted to share this vegan, gluten-free, creamy and delicious, spicy pumpkin soup recipe with you. The weather has gotten really cold where I live and it really hit the spot last night. It's bright orange and spicy so it fits within Halloween's well established parameters. And you could totally make and serve this recipe in a caldron! If you have children this pumpkin soup would make a nice part of dinner for Halloween night. My parents always made a light and healthy meal before we took to the streets to ensure we didn't eat only candy and it never hurts to serve something fun and colorful at a holiday meal.
This soup is more than just allergy friendly and creamy -- it's packed with superfoods like chia seeds, flax seeds, cinnamon, ginger, garlic, virgin coconut oil and extra virgin olive oil. These foods are rich in antioxidants, fiber, essential fatty acids, and immune system boosting properties. Pumpkin is also a superfood and is packed with potassium, pantothenic acid, magnesium, and vitamins C and E, and very high levels of cartenoids (like beta-carotene) which help fight disease in the body. In short, this soup will keep colds and flu at bay, flatter your figure, fill you up and warm your soul.
Super(natural) Pumpkin Soup
(vegan, gluten-free, nut-free, paleo, soy-free)
Makes 1 large serving
Optional Healthy Garnish:
Add pumpkin, garlic, spices, and coconut cream to a soup pot and warm up over medium heat, stirring. Once warm, stir in chia and flaxmeal. Add water and tastier well and bring mixture to a simmer, stirring. Once hot add evoo and coconut oil and stir through to incorporate. Taste! Add extra water or cream or spices if desired. Pour into a serving bowl. Garnish with a drizzle of evoo and a dash of ginger, chilli powder and cinnamon. Serve.
To keep this soup vegan but make this soup more substantial, garnish with 1/2 tbsp raw hemp hearts (they taste a little like Parmesan cheese in this context)