Fall is here and pumpkin soup is back!

I have to confess. I’m on an eating plan called Whole30 (whole30.com if interested) and it prevents me from eating many things that I normally enjoy this time of year (fall) but especially my favorite pumpkin soup. Until about 6 years ago, I had only experienced the flavor of pumpkin in baked goods and sweets. Now it is everywhere, including in the ever popular Pumpkin Spice lattes at Starbucks (artificial flavorings and not nearly as good as this here!). Well, I can’t have those either. LOL! No shade to Starbucks by the way- I’m a gold member! ūüėÄ In any case, I enjoyed a pumpkin stew at an office potluck once and it was soooo amazing that I set out to make my own version over the years. The health benefits of pumpkin are pretty amazing and just one other incentive to give this a try. Check out this article to learn more about the greatness of pumpkin:

http://news.health.com/2014/10/08/6-surprising-health-benefits-of-pumpkin/

This recipe is¬†super quick and it can be entirely healthy or just a little naughty with the addition of heavy cream. I also choose to add meat to it from time to time depending on my mood and what I’m attempting to accomplish health wise. This can be be totally vegan friendly. Either way, it is¬†muy delicioso and if you decide to give it a try- let me know. I’m about to have some leftovers right now! Good luck!

Ingredients:

1-2 ¬†cups of chicken (I like to either brown some chicken breasts or buy a pre-cooked chicken) – use as much as you like. I’m not a voracious meat eater but some folks are… Go forth with the amount you find appropriate for a soup.

1 can of pumpkin (pure pumpkin folks, no sugar added) or if you have the time, feel free to carve a pumpkin and actually use the insides)!

1.5 cups of chopped apples

1 cup of carrots (I just buy a bag of shredded or use canned)

Coconut oil (you can use other oils per your liking but this is a healthy fat)

1 cup of onions

8-12 oz of chicken broth

4 oz of coconut milk (or 1/2 c. of heavy cream which I use when I’m not¬†watching fat content too closely)

1-2 teaspoons of ginger

1/2 tsp of pumpkin spice

1-2 teaspoons of cumin

pepper to taste (I never use salt)

So here’s the skinny… I saute the¬†chicken until cooked ¬†through over medium heat (skip this step if you have pre-cooked chicken or are not adding meat),¬†then saute the¬†vegetables separately in coconut oil until slightly opaque. Combine the two before¬†adding the remaining ingredients and simmer for about 15-20 minutes stirring frequently. I taste throughout the cooking process until it has a creamy look, texture and flavor. If you love ginger and cumin, pile it on until it is to your liking. Serve it all up in warm bowls. I serve mine over brown rice or just eat it alone (when there is meat in it). You can also lightly cook the chicken and throw everything into a crockpot on a low setting and voila- dinner is ready when you get home after a long hard day! AND- your house will smell delightful!

Don’t forget- If you give this a try, let me know how you like it!

~peace, love and bon appetite

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