Many of us only think of pumpkin in the fall or around Halloween but pumpkin is an ingredient to consider year round!
Rich in antioxidants they're packed with a number of immune-boosting antioxidants, including alpha-carotene and beta-carotene, which give this fall root-vegetable its orange hue.
These antioxidants play a number of key roles in keeping our bodies healthy.
They protect our eyes, enhance our immune system and aid in cancer prevention.
Alpha, and beta-carotene are also carotenoids, or precursors to vitamin-A, which the body uses to maintain healthy vision and skin.
Low in calories and high in fiber; one cup of pumpkin meat contains 3 grams of dietary fiber, which the body uses to control blood sugar, lower bad cholesterol and aid in weight loss.
Good source of vitamins: Vitamin-A aside, pumpkins contain high amounts of other essential vitamins and minerals, such as vitamins C and E, magnesium, potassium and iron.
The following recipe is one of our favorite uses for the delicious pumpkin, a bountiful bisque, this fall soup never fails to satisfy, and if you hollow out those mini pumpkins and use them as the bowls for this recipe...well, we think it's just too darn cool!
The addition of sherry elevates the dish to something sublime.
4 c. pumpkin pulp, chopped.
1 c. leek, chopped.
1/2 c. carrot, chopped.
2 oz. unsalted butter.
2 garlic cloves, chopped.
1 bay leaf.
1 c. white wine.
1 quart water.
1 pint 1% milk.
1/2 c. maple syrup.
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste.
Nutmeg to taste.
3 Tbs. quality sherry.
Peel the pumpkin, cut out the pulp and chop into chunks.
Briefly saute the pulp, leek, and carrot in butter in a heavy pot.
Add the garlic and bay leaf and saute briefly.
De-glaze with white wine and reduce slightly.
Add water and simmer until the pumpkin is soft, (about 30 minutes).
Puree soup in a blender or food processor in batches.
Strain through a medium sieve.
Add milk, maple syrup, sherry and seasoning.
Note: the water should just cover the ingredients.
Adjust the amount accordingly.
Also, add the nutmeg last, just before serving to your guests.
We love this dish!
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