As the season changes from Autumn to Winter, a few things are certain…
We spend our Friday evenings cheering our oldest son on as he plays basketball.
The days get shorter and the nights get longer.
The chill in the air becomes more pronounced.
Soup graces are table and warms our bellies.
I once thought pumpkin was just for pies and other desserts. But in recent years, I’ve learned it makes a tasty addition to many different recipes.
One of our new family favorites of the season is this hearty potato, ham, and pumpkin soup.
Pumpkin: A Nutritional Powerhouse
In addition to adding a pop of color, here are a few more reasons you’ll be excited to add pumpkins to your soup:
- Just 1 cup of pumpkin has 200% of your recommended Vitamin A along with carotenoids. This aids in building a strong immune system—important for the cold and flu season. Vitamin A is also vital for eye and bone health.
- Pumpkins are high in anti-oxidants. Antioxidants help in decreasing inflammation (inflammation = bad). Sweet!
- Pumpkins are fantastic for restoring electrolytes. One cup of pumpkin has 564 milligrams of potassium (vs. a banana’s 422 milligrams). Pumpkins obviously put the smack down on bananas. So, for your post-workout (or post-basketball game), load up on the pumpkin. (Bananas are also much higher in sugar with 14 grams to pumpkins 2 grams of sugar—that’s just an extra reason to eat pumpkins!)
1 pound Smoked Ham, chopped
1 small pumpkin, roasted and cut into chunks
3 medium russet potatoes, cut into cubes
6 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
2 Tablespoons potato starch
1 small onion, dice
1 large celery rib, cut down the center and diced
4 Tablespoons olive oil
Sea salt, to taste
fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Cut pumpkin in half and remove the seeds and core (I use a large soup spoon or my fingers), brush each half with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place cut side up on baking sheet or casserole pan and bake for 1 hour until flesh is soft. Remove from oven and cool. When cool enough to handle safely cut remove flesh from the outer skin, cut into chunks and set aside.
- Add 2 tbsps of olive oil to a skillet, once oil is hot add chopped ham, brown and set aside.
- Wash and peel potatoes, cut into cubes. Add 1 tbsp of olive oil to a skillet over medium heat, add potatoes and roast potatoes until they are brown. Add onion and celery and reduce heat to low and cook until potatoes fork tender. Remove from heat and set aside.
- In a large stock pot add 6 cups of broth, 1 cup heavy cream and two Tablespoons of potato starch, whisk together over medium heat until smooth.
- Add ham, pumpkin, potatoes, celery and onions to stock mixture and season with salt and fresh cracked black pepper.
- Serve hot.