While we in Miami don’t have much of a Fall season to look forward to — no cooler temps or colorful foliage here! — the thought of the seasons changing still makes me happy inside.  Last Sunday as I was doing my weekly grocery shopping, I noticed a few extra pieces of pre-cut pumpkin in the produce section and immediately began craving a bowl of heart-warming, velvety pumpkin soup, just like my mom used to make before I took over the kitchen — also known as, Cremita de Auyama. 

It turns out there are more ways to enjoy pumpkin besides the famous Pumpkin Spice Latte at Starbucks or pies to the face at Thanksgiving. Hey, I can admit to indulging in both. But there’s nothing like appreciating a pumpkin for what it is in all of its fiber and vitamin-packed glory. Here’s how!

 

Creamy Pumpkin SoupUntitled

Serves: 2
Ready in: 20 minutes

You’ll Need:

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, rough chopped
  • 1 pound pumpkin, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons plain, non-fat Greek yogurt

Here’s How:

1. Heat the olive oil in a non-stick IMUSA caldero over medium-high heat. Add the pumpkin, onion, a pinch of salt and pepper, and sauté for about 5 minutes, or until browned/caramelized.

            Fit Cook Tip: This is what I call pan-roasting — browning the pumpkin adds extra flavor without waiting over an hour for it to  roast in the oven. The non-stick caldero allows you to use less oil so that the pumpkin browns but doesn’t stick.

2. Add two cups of hot water to the caldero and a pinch more of salt and pepper, then bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer, cover with lid and cook for about 10 minutes, or until the pumpkin is fork tender.

            Fit Cook Tip: The smaller you cut the pumpkin, the faster it will cook.

3. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the cooked pumpkin to your blender. Pour the cooking water into a measuring cup, then pour one cup of the water into the blender. Blend for 30 seconds, or until smooth, adding the yogurt and more of the cooking water if necessary until the soup is smooth and creamy. Taste for seasoning, then serve.

            Fit Cook Tip: Using Greek yogurt instead of cream makes the soup velvety and adds a bit of protein without the fat. I substitute sour cream with Greek yogurt ALL the time. And remember, you can always add more water but you can never take it out, so add water to the blender little by little until the soup is smooth and creamy.

Fall Tip: For extra flavor, I like to add 1/2 teaspoon of curry powder plus a pinch of cinnamon — tastes like Fall!

Don’t go anywhere!  It gets better. You can use this recipe as a “template” for countless varieties of creamy veggie soups by just switching the pumpkin for your favorite vegetable and/or whatever is in season. I make veggie soups at least twice a week, and usually enjoy a cup before lunch and/or dinner. Think broccoli, cauliflower, sweet potatoes, asparagus and even corn. I also like adding fun ingredients here and there to play with flavors — after all, keeping it interesting is key to sticking to a healthier lifestyle.

 

Other soup combinations to love:

Creamy Banana Soup

Sweet and Spicy Corn Chowder

Creamy CarroTomato Soup

Broccoli and Cheese Soup (not Cheese + Broccoli)