Today your advisors of vegetarian Mediterranean diet present you the pumpkin soup with bread sticks recipe.
A common recipe in North Italy, where dry-textured pumpkins grow in winter time and low temperatures call for a hot soup in the evening. A simple recipe suitable also for vegetarians and vegans.
Preparation time of the pumpkin soup with bread sticks recipe : 20 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Ingredients (serves 4)
500 g dry-textured pumpkin
1 celery stick
4 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp dried or fresh chopped rosemary
4 slices of your favourite bread
Instructions for cooking pumpkin soup with bread sticks recipe
Brush, wash and peel the pumpkin, cut it into medium size pieces and remove seeds and fibres. If you are using an organic pumpkin, the skin doesn’t need to be removed. Brush and wash the carrots, peel the onion and wash the celery stick. Chop all the vegetables into medium size pieces.
Heat three tablespoons of olive oil in a large saucepan and add pumpkin, carrots, onion and celery when hot. Sprinkle with salt and rosemary and stir over a medium heat for a couple of minutes. Cover with 3 cm hot water, bring it to the boil then lower the heat. Cover the saucepan and leave it to simmer for about 20 minutes or until the vegetables are soft. Remove the saucepan from the heat and blend the soup until creamy. Add a drop of hot water if too thick,taste for salt and put the cream back to simmer over a low heat, stirring occasionally.
Chop the slices of bread into small pieces then heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan. Drop the sticks of bread, sprinkle it with a pinch of rosemary and keep moving it over a medium heat for a couple of minutes, until coloured and crunchy. Serve the pumpkin soap dropping a couple of tablespoons of bread sticks on top and seasoning with pepper and olive oil.
Pumpkin nutrition facts
Pumpkin fruit is one of the widely grown vegetables that is incredibly rich in vital antioxidants, and vitamins. While this humble backyard vegetable is less in calories but contains vitamin A, and flavonoid poly-phenolic antioxidants such as leutin, xanthin, and carotenes in abundance.
The plant is a fast-growing vine that creeps along the ground surface in a similar fashion like that of other Cucurbitaceae family vegetables and fruits such as cucumber, squash, cantaloupes...etc. It is one of the most popular field crops cultivated around the world, including the USA at the commercial scale for its fruit, and seeds.
Pumpkins vary greatly in shape, size and colors. Giant pumpkins generally weigh 4–6 kg with the largest capable of reaching a weight of over 25 kg. Golden-nugget pumpkins are flat, smaller in size and feature sweet creamy orange color flesh.
Pumpkins, in general, feature orange or yellow color; however, some varieties exhibit dark to pale green, brown, white, red and gray. Their color is largely influenced by yellow-orange pigments in their skin and pulp. Its thick rind is smooth with light, vertical ribs.
In structure, the fruit features golden-yellow to orange flesh depending up on the poly-phenolic pigments in it. The fruit has a hollow center, with numerous small, off-white colored seeds interspersed in a net like structure. Pumpkin seeds are a great source of protein, minerals, vitamins, and omega-3 fatty acids.
Health benefits of Pumpkin
- It is one of the very low calorie vegetables. 100 g fruit provides just 26 calories and contains no saturated fats or cholesterol; however, it is rich in dietary fiber, anti-oxidants, minerals, vitamins. The vegetable is one of the food items recommended by dieticians in cholesterol controlling and weight reduction programs.
- Pumpkin is a storehouse of many anti-oxidant vitamins such as vitamin-A, vitamin-C and vitamin-E.
- With 7384 mg per 100 g, it is one of the vegetables in the Cucurbitaceae family featuring highest levels of vitamin-A, providing about 246% of RDA. Vitamin A is a powerful natural anti-oxidant and is required by the body for maintaining the integrity of skin and mucus membranes. It is also an essential vitamin for good visual sight. Research studies suggest that natural foods rich in vitamin A help a body protects against lung and oral cavity cancers.
- It is also an excellent source of many natural poly-phenolic flavonoid compounds such as α, ß carotenes, cryptoxanthin, lutein and zea-xanthin. Carotenes convert into vitamin A inside the body.
- Zea-xanthin is a natural anti-oxidant which has UV (ultra-violet) rays filtering actions in the macula lutea in retina of the eyes. Thus, it helps protect from “age-related macular disease” (ARMD) in the elderly.
- The fruit is a good source of B-complex group of vitamins like folates, niacin, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), thiamin and pantothenic acid.
- It is also rich source of minerals like copper, calcium, potassium and phosphorus.
- Pumpkin seeds indeed are an excellent source of dietary fiber and mono-unsaturated fatty acids, which are good for heart health. In addition, the seeds are concentrated sources of protein, minerals and health-benefiting vitamins. For instance, 100 g of pumpkin seeds provide 559 calories, 30 g of protein,110% RDA of iron, 4987 mg of niacin (31% RDA), selenium (17% of RDA), zinc (71%) etc., but no cholesterol. Further, the seeds are an excellent source of health promoting amino acid tryptophan. Tryptophan is converted to GABA in the brain.
The team of vegetarian diet invites you to the next article to find out the benefits of the vegetarian diet recipes.
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