This Halloween, I decided to go with a Star Wars theme. I wasn’t sure if it would work out… but I planned out some ideas… and the night before, I stayed up way too late carving a Death Star Jack O’Lantern and a Yoda Jack O’Lantern. (I also made a Darth Vader one…. but it was about 1:00 am at that point, and my fingers were sore and I was pretty tired… so I messed up a bit!)
I guess my pumpkins were a hit in the neighborhood! (Especially the Death Star – a ton of parents actually trudged up our path with their kids to let me know how cool they thought it was.) I’m not sure how I’m going to top the Death Star next year! But I guess I have a year to think about it…
Overall, I think my pumpkins turned out pretty cool… and once the night was over, I felt bad chopping them up. But to me, field pumpkins are food… and shouldn’t be wasted! I know, conventional cooking wisdom says that field pumpkins aren’t good for eating and baking – but I disagree. I always chop up my pumpkins and turn them into delicious baked goods, soups, and stews. So, I stayed up late another night, and began to process my 3 Jack O’Lanterns. Some of the pumpkin was baked and turned into puree, some of it was grated raw (for use in recipes like my pumpkin crumble bread), and the rest of it was peeled and put into the refrigerator for later use in stews and soups (including this one).
This soup recipe is very adaptable. You can use pumpkin, or any hard winter squash. You can also use sweet potato, yam, or even substitute with carrots. Feel free to use lentils – or omit. As for the spice, if you don’t care for Garam Masala, use can use curry powder, pumpkin pie spice, chili powder and cumin, or basically any other spices you like. The spices are what will transform this soup into something different every time.
Since this is a broth based soup with very little fat – it is actually pretty low calorie – yet very filling and satisfying. Because of the pumpkin and sweet potato, this soup is very high in Vitamin A – with a lot of beta carotene and zeaxanthin. So eat up! :)
Pumpkin-Sweet Potato Soup:
- 1 large shallot or 1/2 onion
- 1 large yam or sweet potato (about 1 lb.)
- 1 lb. pumpkin, peeled
- 1/4 c. lentils (optional)
- 1 T. canola oil
- 1 tsp. sea salt
- 2 tsp. garam masala
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 cans chicken broth (about 3 3/4 c.)