Damn! It is COLD in Perth! And when it’s cold a big bowl of comforting soup can be just the ticket! This curry spiced pumpkin soup not only warms you from the inside out but contains a bucketload of healthy ingredients to prop up your immune system and help you ward off any nasty cold and flu bugs.
“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” Hippocrates
Turmeric is a wonderful natural anti-inflammatory thanks to it’s active curcuminoids, most importantly curcumin. Chronic, low-level inflammation plays a major role in almost every Western disease including mental wellbeing and curcumin helps to not only reduce inflammation but is a powerful antioxidant that neutralizes free radicals on its own, and then stimulates the body’s own antioxidant enzymes. Good for the body and mind.
Ginger belongs to the Zingiberaceae family, and is closely related to turmeric. Gingerol is the main bioactive compound in ginger, responsible for much of its medicinal properties. It also has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects and has a very long history of use in various forms of traditional/alternative medicine. It is used to help digestion, reduce nausea and help fight the flu and common cold.
Onions, garlic and leek are all part of the Allium plant genus and are high in glutathione, a powerful antioxidant which helps to boost your immune system. Alliums are also full of organosulfur compounds which are extremely active antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal agents! If you are suffering a cold add garlic to your meals! It not only tastes amazing but will reduce your recovery time.
Pumpkin is incredibly nutrient dense, filling and comforting, but low in calories. Pumpkin gives you a hefty dose of beta-carotene, which is partially converted into Vitamin A which can help your body fight off infections.
Bone Broth (or stock) is made by simmering the bones and connective tissue of animals, usually with a few flavoursome vegetables and an acid, to create a nutritious liquid base that can be used in soups, sauces, gravies or on its own as a drink. The rich minerals in bone broth can help build and strengthen your bones. It also contains many other healthy nutrients, including vitamins, amino acids and essential fatty acids. All supportive elements for a healthy body and to ward off illness.
Now all those health benefits are well and good, but what is most important is that this soup tastes AMAZING! I love the warming, spicy curry flavours of this dish and how filling it is. It is also freezer friendly and incredibly portable so chuck the leftover soup into the freezer and pull some out anytime when you after a quick and delicious meal or snack.
Start by peeling and roughly chopping the onion and garlic. Roughly chop the leek and celery. You’re going to blend everything at the end so don’t worry about perfect chopping 😛
Don’t throw your vegetable scraps away! If you have used organic onions, leek and celery, keep the onion skins and scrap veggie pieces in a plastic zip bag in the freezer with any leftover free-range animal bones until you have enough to make bone broth.
Peel and de-seed the pumpkin, then roughly chop into 3cm square chunks. Hot Tip! The easiest way to de-seed a pumpkin is to use an ice-cream scoop! Put the leftover pumpkin skin pieces into a bag in the fridge and later roast these on a tray with some salt and olive oil to have in salad. You could also save the pumpkin seeds and do the same. I’m a big believer in wasting as little food as possible – it’s not only better for the environment, but in the long run it can save you and your family a lot of money. Be thankful for your food and eat nose to tail and stalk to root as much as possible.
Once the ghee is melted, add in all the spices and stir until fragrant. Add in the onion, garlic, leek and celery. Mix and stir evenly so everything is covered in the spices and starts to caramelise.
Add in the pumpkin, bone broth, water and mix. Set the pressure cooker to medium pressure and cook for 30 minutes.
Once finished, wait until the soup starts to cool and then blend until smooth with a stick blender.
This pumpkin soup is great for breakfast lunch or dinner! For breakfast, break in a raw egg and microwave to heat it through and poach the egg in the soup. For lunch and dinner, top the soup with roasted mushrooms, or a serving of pulled pork, fresh herbs, a sprinkling of toasted seeds, nuts or my favourite – a swirl of this smoky, crispy chilli oil.
Note: If you don’t have a pressure cooker you can make this recipe on the stove top in a large pot following the same instructions. Instead of pressure cooking for 30 minutes, simmer on medium heat for around 1 hour. You may need to add more water if the soup becomes too thick.
Curry Spiced Pumpkin Anti-Inflammatory Pressure Cooker Soup
- Peel and roughly chop the onion and garlic. Roughly chop the leek and celery.
- Peel and de-seed the pumpkin, then roughly chop into 3cm square chunks.
- Turn your pressure cooker to the sear function for 5 minutes and add in the ghee.
- Once the ghee is melted, add in all the spices and stir until fragrant.
- Add in the onion, garlic, leek and celery. Mix and stir evenly so everything is covered in the spices and starts to caramelise.
- Add in the pumpkin, bone broth, water and mix.
- Set the pressure cooker to medium pressure and cook for 30 minutes.
- One finished, wait until the soup starts to cool and then blend until smooth with a stick blender.
- Store leftovers in the freezer for a rainy day
- Keep a big portion of the soup in a glass jar and take to work for multiple meals or snacks
- Do you have any extra leftover veggies like zuchinni or cauliflower in your fridge? Roughly chop these and add them in with the pumpkin to avoid food wastage. Add ½-1 cup more water if the soup is too thick
- Change the flavour of your soup by topping with chilli oil, roasted veggies, nuts, seeds or pulled pork
- If you don’t have a pressure cooker you can make this recipe on the stove top in a large pot following the same instructions. Instead of pressure cooking for 30 minutes, simmer on medium heat for around 1 hour. You may need to add more water if the soup becomes too thick.