Healthy Pumpkin White Bean Soup

After finally cooking our pumpkin, I was so excited to start cooking with it! Winter has officially set up camp in the Northeast, bringing rainy afternoons and frosty mornings. Along with a common cold that I just can seem to shake. I knew that I wanted to cook up something warm, comforting and healthy and I came up with this delicious, hearty pumpkin and white bean soup recipe!

Pumpkin itself is a low-key superfood. It is full of fiber, which is great for regulating digestion and feeling full longer. This beautiful orange gourd is also packed with beta-carotene, a known antioxidant which could help prevent free-radicals from wreaking havoc on your cells. Pumpkin also contains high levels of vitamin A, which is great for keeping your eyes healthy and vision strong. They have more potassium than bananas, and almost 60 percent of your daily suggested vitamin C intake. It may not be green, but it carries great benefits for the body.

The fiber from the pumpkin, paired with the protein from the white beans, makes for a very light and satisfying soup. The ingredients are fairly common and easy to find, too, which is always an added bonus.

Ingredients:

1 yellow onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 carrot

1 small pumpkin (about 2.5 cups), oven roasted and scooped (see my method here for easily cooking the pumpkin). I’m sure you can also use canned pumpkin, but I haven’t tried it in this recipe.

1 can (15 -16 ounces) cooked white/cannellini beans

16 ounces broth (I used vegetable, but you can also use chicken)

Salt and pepper to taste

1-2 tablespoons olive oil

Method:

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a medium pot, on medium heat. Chop the onion, add a generous pinch of salt, and cook until softened and slightly translucent. Dice the garlic and cook gently, making sure not to burn it. Once the garlic has softened, add the carrot and cook until they are a little soft – about 5 minutes. You can add more oil at this point if the pot is looking dry or anything is sticking to it. Once the carrots can be dented with a wooden spoon, add the cumin and the cinnamon and stir. It will smell pretty powerful, but don’t stress. Once all of the ingredients are in, the spices will mellow out.

Cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then add the pumpkin, the beans, and the broth. Give it a good stir until thoroughly combined. Bring it all to a boil and then let simmer for 20 minutes, or until the carrots can be easily mashed, tasting and adding salt and pepper as you wish.

I like my soup a little chunky, so I then let it cool and used my immersion blender to smooth it out a little, while still leaving some carrots intact. You can add water to reach the desired consistency, reheat when you want to serve it, and top with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Try it out and let me know what you think!

Turra!

— Dawn