If you have been busy over the weekend pumpkin carving, in anticipation of Hallow’een, then you may well have a whole load of pumpkin flesh to use up. I adore pumpkin and use it pretty much in the same way as butternut squash. I also like to roast the seeds for a healthy snack.
I’ve had two requests this weekend one for a sweet and one for a savoury recipe using pumpkin. The first was for my pumpkin soup recipe that I posted a pic of on my Facebook page (did you see it?). If you didn’t then go to Carol Bowen Ball on Facebook….this is another way I use of posting recipes, advice and topical news from the wls arena. The second was for a pumpkin pie recipe suitable for bariatrics and I’m working on that today in the Bariatric Cookery test kitchen and will post as soon as I have one I am happy with.
The soup recipe is a real winner and uses sweet shallots (in season at the moment), pumpkin and red peppers/capsicums. I have tried this on umpteen occasions with different onions (red are also very good); using butternut and other edible squash instead of pumpkin; and using yellow and orange peppers/capsicums instead of red. I have also used bottled skinned peppers/capsicums when time has been at a premium….all work superbly. For a special occasion I sometimes ‘fry’ a little finely sliced shallot in low-fat cooking spray until crisp and golden to add to the yogurt, nut and herb topping…it makes the soup something of a show-stopper! That said, it also an economical soup recipe so fits the profile for one of my Bariatric Budget Buster recipes.
It’s a soup recipe that is suitable for all post-op stages after weight-loss surgery…although I would omit the seeded and herbed topping for the very first FLUIDS (green stage). Nutritional stats given are for the soup with the topping. It’s also a soup that freezes well…so it can be prepared and frozen for later time eating….I have a portion of leftover soup on ice for a chilly day ahead.
SHALLOT, PUMPKIN AND PEPPER SOUP
4 red peppers/capsicums, deseeded and cut into quarters
low-fat cooking spray
6 shallots, peeled and chopped
750g/11/2 lb pumpkin, peeled and cut into small pieces
1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
1.2 litres/5 cups strong vegetable stock
salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 heaped tbsp fat-free Greek yogurt
2 tsp chopped fresh chives
1 tbsp toasted pumpkin seeds
1. Preheat the oven to 200 C, 400 F, gas mark 6.
2. Place the peppers/capsicums, skin side up, on a baking sheet and roast in the oven for 20-25 minutes until the skins are charred. Remove, place in a bowl, cover with cling film/saran wrap and leave to cool. Once cool, peel of the skins (they will slip away easily) reserve the flesh.
3. Meanwhile, spritz a large pan generously with low-fat cooking spray. Heat, add the shallots, pumpkin and red chilli and cook over a gentle heat for 5-10 minutes until softened.
4. Add the garlic and thyme and cook for a further 1 minute. Pour in the stock, bring to the boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
5. Add the prepared peppers and salt and pepper to taste and cook for a further 5 minutes.
6. To finish and serve, blend the soup in a food processor or with a hand blender until smooth. Taste and adjust the seasoning as liked. Return the soup to the pan and reheat until hot (thin with some stock if a little thick). Ladle into warmed serving bowls, top with a generous spoonful of yogurt then sprinkle with the chives and pumpkin seeds to serve.
WLS PORTION: 1/2
V suitable for vegetarians
* suitable for freezing
CALORIES PER PORTION: 145
Image courtesy of UK Shallots