Nutritionist’s Pantry — Benefits of Squash and Tasty Pumpkin Soup Recipe

Nutritionist’s Pantry — Benefits of Squash and Tasty Pumpkin Soup Recipe

  • posted on: November 7, 2017
  • posted by: Robin Crowder
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By Amanda Bullat, MS, RDN, CN


“I would rather sit on a pumpkin and have it all to myself, than be crowded on a velvet cushion.”  ~ Henry David Thoreau

With Jack-o-lanterns carved and Thanksgiving just around the corner, it seems appropriate to mention that the humble winter squash taking center stage this time of year is also a nutrition power house.

According to one of my talented traditional Chinese Medicine nutrition colleagues, April Crowell, winter squashes are excellent sources of vitamins including, vitamin C, a variety of B vitamins, and potassium.

The warm yellow-orange color of the edible flesh comes from both alpha and beta carotenes. The darker the flesh, the higher concentration of these cancer- and type 2 diabetes-fighting vitamins. Winter Squash are also loaded with dietary fiber, which helps to sooth irritable digestion. From a Chinese Medicine perspective, winter squash warms our core and drains excess damp – meaning they help regulate blood sugar, remove excess damp conditions like symptoms of the common cold, and create a strong lasting energy and digestive system.

Here’s one of our favorite winter squash recipes from culinary instructor Lisa Crawford and our Cultivating Cooks program:

RECIPE:  CREAMY PUMPKIN SOUP with Roasted Pumpkin Seeds          

Serves 4

Preparation time: 10 minutes; Cooking time: 15 to 20 minutes

1 tablespoon sunflower or grape seed oil

2 shallots, diced (about ¼ cup)

4 teaspoons minced garlic

½ teaspoon grated ginger (21 Acres Farm Market has fresh in for the season!)

½ teaspoon red chili flakes

1-2 sugar pumpkins, roasted, or 2 ¼ cups (506g) pumpkin puree

2 cups (475g) vegetable broth

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon cinnamon, or to taste

Freshly ground nutmeg, to taste

Fresh ground black pepper

Toasted pumpkin seeds for serving (optional, see note)

In a large saucepan over medium heat combine olive oil, shallot, garlic and a good pinch of salt. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until slightly browned and translucent. Turn down heat if cooking too quickly.

Add squash, broth, spices, another pinch of salt and a grinding of pepper. Bring to a simmer and continue cooking over medium-low heat for 5 to 10 minutes. Blend soup with an immersion blender and taste for seasoning. For a very smooth & silky soup, push through a sieve before serving.

Note: To toast pumpkin seeds, scatter 1 cup pumpkin seeds in a single layer on a sheet pan and drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss to coat. Bake for about 7 minutes, at 375º F, or until light brown and crispy.

Serve the soup warm with the toasted pumpkin seeds on top, or in a bowl on the side with serving spoon

Be sure to tell us if you try the recipe! Email, 



Amanda leads our culinary education program at 21 Acres. She is also a Registered Dietician Nutritionist at Alpine Nutrition