Roasted Pumpkin & Salsa Soup
RECIPE: ROASTED PUMPKIN & SALSA SOUP
Roasted Pumpkin & Salsa Soup
Did you know that roasted pumpkin is so flavorful? I find its easier to roast the pumpkin slices as its not only more tastier but its easy to peel the pumpkin. Luckily, supermarkets here sell small portions of pumpkin which is so much easier to use up and handle. Roasted Pumpkin & Salsa Soup is a filling, delicious and healthy soup. Warm and comforting during the cold season. The first time I made pumpkin soup, it was so plain that though hubby didn’t complain, I could make out that he was not enjoying it all. He suggested that I add something tangy to balance the slight sweetness. Hence, the idea of serving pumpkin soup with salsa. OH its so delish, you’ve got to try it.
What is Pumpkin?
Though we all call pumpkin a vegetable, in reality its a fruit. Yes, a fruit. It’s the seed bearing structure of the plant. Its categorized as a vegetable as its sweet and usually used cooked. Pumpkin belongs to the gourd family, Cucurbitaceae, same as melons, cucumber, gourds and squashes.
Why you should include Pumpkin in your diet?
- Did you know that pumpkin is full of Vitamin A. Its an excellent source of beta carotene.
- Rich in potassium and Vitamin C, making it an ideal for good healthy heart.
- Its low on fat and calories, making it an ideal vegetable or rather fruit to include in a weight loss diet.
- Pumpkin is a good source of dietary fiber. The fiber keeps you full for a longer time and is good for the digestive system.
- Trytophan is an amino acid which gets converted to serotonin, which in turn induces sleep. Therefore if you suffer from insomnia, pumpkin is a rich source of tryptophan. Enjoy pumpkin at night and you will sleep better.
- Good for diabetics as its helps to regulate blood sugar levels.
Pumpkin and Fall
Pumpkins are widely used in USA and Canada during Halloween and Thanks giving day. Pumpkins are harvested in October and used for making breads, desserts, side dishes, cakes, muffins, soup, etc. The list is endless. During my visit to Canada last fall, we saw numerous pumpkins placed outside on the porch, on window sills and in the garden. The sizes ranged from tiny ones to gigantic ones all carved with candles in them. Its a beautiful sight in the evenings. I had the opportunity to enjoy a spicy pumpkin bread with coffee and it tasted heavenly.
Is Pumpkin Popular in Kenya?
Here in Kenya, pumpkin is used to make curries. Its also cooked with kale or spinach and coconut. It tastes really good with some ugali. Pumpkin leaves, especially in rural areas are added to stews and irio. Pumpkin puree is popular as a healthy pureed food for babies. We don’t have to wait for fall to enjoy pumpkin. In fact its practically available throughout the year.
Some More Ideas how to use Pumpkin:
Pumpkin and banana are used to make these Pumpkin Banana Bread Muffins, perfect for teatime or breakfast too.
Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte is my favorite beverage to enjoy in the evenings.
Sweetish Italian Pumpkin Bread tastes really good with tea or coffee.
Enjoy a Spicy Pumpkin Yeast Bread for breakfast or tea.
My mum would make this simple Pumpkin Shaak or Sabji to go with rotis.
Ingredients required for Roasted Pumpkin & Salsa Soup:
- Pumpkin – cut into half if its a small one. Cut into slices or wedges if its a big pumpkin.
- Water/Stock – the amount depends on how thick you want the soup to be
- Onion – for both the soup and salsa
- Tomato – for the salsa
- Garlic – peeled, for the soup
- Olive oil – to brush over the pumpkin, onion and garlic
- Dried Herbs – any of your choice. Mixed or rosemary works well.
- Black Pepper Powder – I prefer to use coarse pepper powder
- Salt – for both the soup and the salsa
- Cumin Seeds – for the soup
- Fresh Coriander or Cilantro – for the salsa
- Lemon Juice – for the soup and salsa
- Spring Onion – for the salsa
- Red Chilli Powder – optional
- Gluten Free
ROASTED PUMPKIN & SALSA SOUP
FOR THE PUMPKIN SOUP:
- 500 g pumpkin
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 4 - 6 garlic cloves
- 1 tsp dried mixed herbs
- ¼ tsp coarse black pepper
- ¾ - 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 medium onion
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1-2 cups stock, water
FOR THE SALSA:
- ½ cup finely chopped onion
- ½ cup finely chopped tomatoes
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
- 2 tbsp chopped spring onion
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼-½ tsp red chilli powder
PREPARATION OF PUMPKIN SOUP:
- Preheat the oven to 180°C.
- Cut the pumpkin into half and place it in an oven tray with the cut side facing up.
- Peel and cut the onion into chunks and add to the pumpkin.
- Peel the garlic and add to the pumpkin.
- Sprinkle herbs, salt, pepper and cumin seeds over the mixture.
- Drizzle with olive oil.
- Place the tray in the oven and let the pumpkin roast for 20- 30 minutes or till it is done and soft.
- Scoop out the pumpkin and put it in the blender.
- Add water.
- Process the mixture.
- Pour the soup into a pan and heat it over medium heat till it becomes hot.
- Add lemon juice and mix well.
- Serve topped with salsa.
PREPARATION OF SALSA:
- Mix all the ingredients for the salsa in a bowl.
- Add tablespoonful of the salsa to the soup and serve.
- You can steam or cook the pumpkin before making the puree. Make sure you peel the pumpkin first.
- Adjust spices according to your taste.
- Adjust the thickness of the soup according to your preference.
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