Posted on October 26, 2011


Well, my computer crashed last night (yay…), so the pictures in this post aren’t great. Sorry.

However, there’s no need to be Debbie Downer because today is National Pumpkin Day! Happy National Pumpkin Day!!

I love pumpkins like I love fall. They make me happy. Not only are pumpkins synonymous with the fall, they are good for you too! Here are some of the nutritional benefits of pumpkins:

  • full of antioxidants & phytonutrients
    • excellent source of Vitamin A
    • good source of Vitamin C
  • low in calories
  • good source of iron and copper
  • The seeds inside the pumpkin are also really good for you!

If you read any food blogs, you’ll know about the obsession with pumpkin. This time of year, food blogs are full of recipes that contain pumpkin, and many are for desserts. I’ve never really been a fan of pumpkin. I just don’t love the way it tastes. I try to like it, but I just don’t. However, I do like making savory pumpkin dishes.

Here is a recipe for a savory pumpkin dish: Mexican Pumpkin Soup. I know it sounds crazy to put pumpkin in your soup, but you won’t even notice that it’s there.

In college, I would go to schools and do healthy cooking demonstrations for parents & children. One time, I used this pumpkin soup recipe along with recipes for pizza casserole, a pasta dish, and turkey roll-ups. After I demonstrated how to cook each recipe, the parents and children were split up into groups to prepare each recipe. Out of all four recipes, the pumpkin soup was by far the favorite. There was none left by the end of the demonstration, and that should convince you that this soup really is good!

The soup is based on this recipe from the Hungry Girl website.

Mexican Pumpkin Soup

Serves 4

1 tsp canola oil

1 TBSP garlic, minced

1 TBSP chili powder

½ tsp cumin

4 cups low-sodium chicken broth

1 (15 oz) can pure pumpkin (make sure you do not get the canned pumpkin pie!)

1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and well-rinsed

¾ cup salsa

1 cup cooked chicken, shredded or chopped (optional)

¾ cup reduced-fat cheddar cheese, shredded (optional)

Heat oil over medium in a small Dutch oven or saucepan. Put in the garlic, chili powder and cumin, and stir for one minute. Pour in the chicken broth, and bring to a simmer. Stir in the pumpkin. Stir in the beans and salsa, and bring the soup to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in the chicken if desired, and simmer another 5 minutes. Ladle soup into 4 bowls, and top each bowl with about 3 tablespoons of cheese if desired. Enjoy!!


Posted in: Food Holiday, Recipes