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Pumpkin soup with pumpkin seed-mint pesto…yum!

From Sunset Magazine

Not quite enough pumpkin for you?  Sunset Magazine suggests serving this soup in mini-pumpkins!

Pumpkin-Soup-with-Pumpkin-Seed-Mint-Pesto

Annabelle Breakey provided photo in Sunset Magazine.

In the Midwest, we love the fall.  It represents warm soups, football games and beautiful colors on trees, people and in our lakes. People are usually on their last days of training for a fall marathon, mowing their lawn and enjoying their open toe shoes.  It’s also a great time to clean out your colon and schedule your colonoscopy if you were born in 1961!

Cooking doesn’t have to be Hamburger Helper…and quite frankly, it shouldn’t be from a box.  There are usually too many mysterious things in a box, including high sodium numbers.  Nobody ever faults you though for taking 50 minutes out of your day to make a great soup!  It can fill you up with the good things and make you eat the right things.

So, this week, go for a nice walk with an old friend.  Invite a family member over to sip warm soup.  Tell five people why you get your rear in gear, so they get a colonoscopy at the the right time.

THE FIXINGS!

  • 1 good friend or more
  • 1 30-60 minute walk
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 1 & 1/2 tbs of chopped fresh ginger
  • 2 tsp of ground coriander
  • 4 & 1/2 cups peeled, 1-in. chunks pumpkin or other orange-fleshed squash (from a 2 & 1/2 pound squash)
  • 4 & 1/2 cups of chicken broth (choose sodium reduced, make it home-made or substitute vegetable broth for vegans)
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper

PESTO

  • 1 small garlic clove (or if you like me…throw a couple more in!)
  • 1/8 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup of chopped fresh mint
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup salted roasted pumpkin seeds
  1. Make soup: Saute onion and ginger in oil in a medium pot over medium-high heat until golden, 5 minutes.  Add garlic and coriander and cook until softened, 1 minute, then add pumpkin, broth, salt, and pepper.  Simmer, covered, until pumpkin is very tender, 8 to 10 minutes.  Puree in batches in a blender until very smooth.
  2. Make pesto:  Pound garlic, whole mint leaves, salt and 1 tbs oil in a mortar into a coarse paste (or cheat and use a food processor).  Add remaining oil and pumpkin seeds and pound until coarsely crushed.
  3. Drop small spoonfuls of pesto over bowls of soup, garnish with slivered mint, and serve remaining pesto on side.
  4. Bring a bowl over to your favorite cancer survivor.

Per 1/2 cup serving:  263 calories, 70% (185 calories) from fat; 8.3 grams of protein, 21 grams of fat (3.4 grams sat.), 13 grams carbohydrates, 2.6 grams of fiber, 406 MG sodium, 23 MB MG cholesterol.  Note: You can cut out the amount of fat from olive oil, calories and sodium by not making the pesto, but make sure you have fresh mint and maybe consider blending in some garlic. Grind up some roasted pumpkin seeds if you do choose to go without the pesto.

Feeling Martha Stewart like?  Make Mini pumpkin bowls!

  • Cut a thin slice from the bases of 6 mini pumpkins so they sit flat
  • Set on a rimmed baking sheet
  • Rub with olive oil
  • Sprinkle with salt and pepper
  • Bake @ 400 degrees until tender – 40 to 45 minutes.
  • Cut off 2 inch wide lids and carefully scrape out seeds with a small spoon – if you have the clumsy fingers like me and get a hole, line the pumpkin with a piece of foil.

Want to find more recipes and ideas from Sunset Magazine?  Here’s the link!