Spicy Pumpkin Gumbo

Celebrate fall with this delicious and healthy soup. This soup was inspired by the pumpkin gumbo I had at our local wine bar, Flight 112 – it was so unique I had to go home and make my own healthy version!

Pumpkin and other fall squashes are incredibly nutritious. Their beautiful orange hues indicate an abundance of carotenoids, an antioxidant that helps free radical activity. Squashes are a superfood in the battle against cancer and heart disease, and are naturally low in calories.

Most of the squash soups that we see are pureed – this brothy soup caught my attention. I used a Kabocha squash, which is a Japanese variety with deep orange tones. The big pumpkins that we use for carving are not appropriate for cooking, as they are too stringy. Use a smaller pie pumpkin, which is sweeter and has a better consistency.

The pumpkin is roasted first and cut up into small chunks.  Clean the outside of the pumpkin thoroughly with soap, water and some scrubbing to get rid of any possible bacteria – remember that when you cut through hard shelled fruits and vegetables, your utensils are exposed to the germs. The skin of the kaboch squash is edible as well.

The original recipe used kielbasa for flavoring – I’ve substituted a chicken andouille sausage (100 calories and 1.5 grams saturated fat) to keep the smoky cajun flavoring that makes a gumbo delish. I’ve also added a lot of extra veggies, cuz that’s how I roll! Enjoy!

1 Pumpkin (small to medium size), washed and cut into chunks

5 carrots, cut into coins

3 stalks of celery, cut into small chunks

1/2 cup fresh spinach, washed and chopped finely

1 small onion, chopped

3 pieces of Sausages by AmyLu Chicken Andouille Sausage, cut into coins

1 box of organic, low sodium chicken broth (you can substitute veggie as well)

4 cloves of garlic, minced

1.5 tbsp of cumin

1.5 tbsp of ancho chile powder (can use plain old chili powder)

1.5 tsp of garam masala

1 tsp. of cinnamon

ground black pepper

dash of sea salt

Extra virgin olive oil

1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lay out the pumpkin chunks. Spritz each chunk with olive oil and a bit of sea salt. Roast for one hour. Let cool slightly.

2.  Heat a soup pan or dutch oven over a medium hot burner; add a little bit of olive oil after 30 seconds. Add the chopped onions and garlic into the oil and saute for about 2 to 3 minutes. (Cooking the garlic with the onions prevents it from burning and getting a rancid taste.)

3. Turn the heat down to medium low and add in carrots, celery, and spinach; saute for two minutes.

4. Pour the chicken stock into pan; add in 3 cups of water. Turn the heat up to medium.

5.  Add chunks of squash, skin and all (told you there was a good reason to wash it well!), into soup mixture. Although we are not going to puree the squash, we do want to mash it ever so slightly, to add texture and consistency to the soup.

6.  Add in sausage coins and all spices. Heat over a medium flame for approximately one hour.

The result: a hearty and delicious fall soup that will pair well with a crisp mixed green salad. I prefer not eating the sausage myself, so I take the chunks out. You can top with your own roasted pumpkin seeds for an additional crunch!

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Comments

  1. This look and sounds really delicious – great recipe. Perfect autumn cuisine.

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