A Jamaican pumpkin soup
Soup was always a staple in my household when I was growing up. It seemed like my grandmother always had a pot of soup on the fire. There was literally a soup for everything you could think of but the easiest to make was always the chicken soup.
Since I no longer eat meat, I had to tweak my grandmother’s recipe a bit to make this dish plant-based. Traditionally, this soup is made with either chicken or beef but the one I make when I’m in the mood for soup has no animal products included.
Whenever it was raining outside, a hot pot of soup was on the fire inside.
Since the autumn weather is here along with colder air, unwanted sniffles, loads and loads of pumpkins, and different kinds of squashes, it felt right to share this recipe with you.
The best way to gear up for the colder weather is to arm your body with plenty of nutrients. And, the easiest way to pack your body with all the nutrients it needs is through food. In this case: a bowl of Jamaican pumpkin soup.
Pumpkin, surprisingly, is a fruit because it has seeds inside. Nutrition-wise, however, it’s closer to the vegetable family. It’s incredibly healthy and making it into a soup with other vegetables will only enhance the nutritional value of the meal.
One cup of cooked pumpkin without salt contains:
- Calories: 49
- Fat: 0.2g
- Protein: 1.8g
- Carbs: 12g
- Fiber: 2.7g (11% of the Daily Value (DV))
- Vitamin A: 12231 IU (245% of the DV)
- Vitamin C: 11.5mg (19% of the DV)
- Vitamin E: 2mg (10% of the DV)
- Potassium: 564 mg (16% of the DV)
- Copper: .2mg (11% of the DV)
- Manganese: .2mg (11% of the DV)
- Iron: 1.4mg (8% of the DV)
So, how do you make pumpkin soup from scratch?
Fair warning, once you’ve tried this recipe, you’ll never, ever go back to the canned pumpkin soups. Those things are drowning in sodium which defeats the purpose of eating, or better yet, drinking a healthy meal. So I commend you on taking the healthier route.
Pumpkin soup can have any broth consistency you like, I like my soup to have a thicker broth. To achieve the thickness I desire, I’ll mash some of the pumpkin and potatoes in the pot while the soup is still cooking. The longer you leave the soup to boil, the thicker it will become.
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For this recipe, you’ll need
Jamaican Pumpkin [also known as Calabaza, Cuban Squash or Caribbean Pumpkin] or Kabocha squash (it’s a great substitute)
White or red skin Potatoes
Scotch Bonnet Pepper
Jamaican Pumpkin Soup Recipe
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 30-45 minutes
1/2 Jamaican Pumpkin or Kabocha squash (cubed)
2 large white or red skin potatoes
1/2 large onion (chopped)
2 stalks of scallion
2 sprigs of thyme
3 cloves of garlic
1 whole scotch bonnet pepper
3-4 pimento seeds
2 carrots (sliced)
1 pack of pumpkin soup mix
12 + 1/4 cups of water
1 cup of flour
1 tbs of sea salt
Prepare to make the spinners (small dumplings)
Add flour, salt, and 1/4 cup of water to a small mixing bowl and create a dough. Add more water or more flour until the consistency of a dough is formed. Break off small pieces of the dough and spin them in the palm of your hands to create a small, worm-like shape and set aside. (This is how these little dumplings got the name spinners!)
Place 12 cups of water, pumpkin soup mix, pimento seed, onions, and garlic in a large soup pot and bring to a boil.
When the water is boiling, add all the ingredients with the exception of the scotch bonnet pepper and the spinners to the pot. Stir and allow the water to start boiling again.
Once the potatoes and pumpkins are cooked, smash a few pieces, along with the garlic, in the pot, this will add some thickness to the broth. If you desire a thicker broth, smash more potatoes and pumpkin, if you desire a thinner broth don’t smash any potatoes or pumpkin.
Lastly, add spinners and scotch bonnet pepper to the pot.
Cover pot and cook on low to medium heat for the next 15 minutes or until the spinners are done, (test one to make sure the middle is thoroughly cooked).
Keep an eye on the scotch bonnet pepper to make sure that it doesn’t burst while it’s cooking. If you love spice then this won’t be a problem but if you’re sensitive to spicy food this will have you running for the hills, trying to find sugar to cool your burning tongue.
Once your Jamaican pumpkin soup is finished cooking and you’ve achieved the desired thickness, serve in a soup bowl and enjoy.
Let me know if you’ve tried this recipe in the comment section below.