The ultimate winter soup with pumpkin

pumpkin soup

If you find yourself shopping at the grocery store or the farmers’ market this time of the year, your will be captivated by the bright color of pumpkins. However it is not just about the color, as pumpkin has a surprisingly unique taste too!

What are the health benefits of soups? Soups are one of the oldest traditional remedies for the common cold. When you get the flu your immune system mobilizes specific cells, known as white blood cells, which travel to your upper respiratory system in order to give you the feeling of sore throat or runny nose. The ingredients in chicken soup are thought to prevent white blood cells from mitigating to your nose and throat, and thus alleviating the symptoms. Also hot soup, but not hot water, works as a decongestant proving the immunologic benefits of soup ingredients, such as onions and garlic.

Which are the health benefits of pumpkin?
•    Pumpkin gets its yellow or orange color from the phytonutrient component b- carotene, which has been suggested to prevent macular degeneration.
•    Because of its high concentration in b- carotene, pumpkin helps the body synthesize vitamin A, which is necessary for a strong immune system, healthy skin and good vision.
•    When cooked, the cell walls of pumkin are disrupted allowing b- carotene, and other carotenoid phytonutrients, to be readily available for the body to use.
•    One cup of pumpkin provides 10% of your body’s daily needs in fiber.
Spiced winter pumpkin soup
If you believe it is hard to cook a pumpkin, or you are skeptical about its sweet taste, the following recipe will convince you to turn pumpkin soup into one of your winter’s favorite foods.

Ingredients for 4 servings
•    1 tablespoon olive oil
•    2 yellow onions, chopped
•    3 cloves of garlic, chopped
•    1/2 tsp ground ginger
•    1/2 tsp curry powder
•    2 pinch of ground chili pepper
•    1.5-kilogram of pumpkin peeled and cut into 3cm cubes
•    1/4 cup light crème fraîche
•    1 bay leaf
•    Salt
•    Freshly ground pepper

•    In a medium sized pan, sauté the onion, garlic, curry and chilly for about 5 minutes.
•    Add all the remaining ingredients, except from the light crème fraîche, and cover with water. Boil for approximately 40 minutes until tender.
•    Process all the ingredients in the blender.
•    Serve with a tablespoon of crème fraîche.

Recipe adapted from: (Spiced Pumpkin Soup Recipe)
Hopkins AB. Chicken soup cure may not be a myth. Nurse Pract. 2003 Jun;28(6):16.

Nutrient Analysis

1 portion: 432g (1.5 cups)

% DV*
Calories 194kcal (kJ)
Total Carbohydrates 23 g
Dietary Fiber 5 g
Sugars 4 g
Total fat 11 g
Saturated 2 g
Trans 0 g
Cholesterol 10 g
Proteins 3 g
Vitamin A ~18926 IU ~379%
Vitamin C 19.4 mg 32%
Vitamin D ~3.9 ~1%
Vitamin E 4.0 mg 20%
 Vitamin K 15.3 mcg 19%
Thiamin 0.1 mg 10%
Riboflavin 0.3 mg 19%
Niacin 1.6 mg 8%
Vitamin B6 0.3 mg 15%
Folic acid 35.7 mcg 9%
Vitamin B12 ~0.0 mcg ~0%
Pantothenic ~0.9 mg ~9%
Calcium 76.1 mg 8%
Iron 2.4 mg 14%
Magnesium 40.1 mg 10%
Phosphorus 137 mg 14%
Potassium 947 mg 27%
Sodium 39.8 mg 2%
Zinc 1.0 mg 7%
Copper 0.4 mg 18%
Manganese 0.4 mg 22%
Fluoride ~1.2 mcg ~2%
Polyunsaturated omega 3 fatty acids
Total Omega 3 fatty acids 365 mg
Total Omega 6 fatty acids 2524 mg

* The nutrient analysis above is based on USDA Nutrient Database for Standard Reference values. The percentages of Daily Values (DV) are based on 2,000 calorie reference diet for healthy adults. Your daily values may be higher or lower based on your individual needs.