With its autumn orange, this basic pumpkin soup adds color and nutrition to your diet. The versatile pumpkin is botanically a fruit and part of the Cucurbita family, which includes squash and cucumbers. Their popularity is universal. After all, pumpkins are grown on six of the world's seven continents - the exception being Antarctica - but the self proclaimed "Pumpkin Capital of the World" is Morton, Illinois.

Pumpkins go back over 5000 years. The word "pumpkin" comes from the Greek pepon, which means large melon. The French adapted it to pompon and the British promptly changed it to pumpion. American colonists further modified the word to pumpkin.

This vegetarian soup offers the benefits of high fiber without the fat and calories of a cream-based soup. You don't need added salt in this soup because the onion, garlic and thyme enhance the pumpkin flavor. For more complexity, try sprinkling on some oregano or basil.

Pair it with a hearty sandwich made with crusty whole-wheat bread, sliced tomato, hummus and avocado and you have a satisfying lunch or light dinner. No butter or mayonnaise is required. All you have to do is lightly brush the tomato and avocado with olive oil and spread on your favorite hummus. Your meal is ready - a delicious hot soup and a cool, substantial sandwich.

Pumpkin Soup

Makes 8 servings.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth, divided
  • 4 cups pumpkin puree (canned or fresh) (butternut squash may be substituted)
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tsp. fresh thyme, chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 2 Tbsp. light whipping cream (optional)
  • 1 tsp. fresh parsley, chopped
  • Nutmeg (optional)

Directions

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  1. In large pot over medium-high heat add 3 cups broth, pumpkin, onion, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper. Bring to boil. Reduce to low and simmer uncovered, about 30 minutes.
  2. Puree mixture until smooth, in small batches, using blender or food processor. Return to pot. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered for another 30 minutes. Add remaining broth as desired. (Optional, stir in cream.)
  3. Pour into bowls. Garnish with parsley (or sprinkle of nutmeg) and serve.

Nutritonal Information Per Serving:
71 calories
1 g total fat
<1 g saturated fat
16 g carbohydrate, 3 g protein
0 g dietary fiber
284 mg sodium