Soups are nothing new to our modern world – it’s an ancient dish, and in fact, we’ve all likely heard about soup kitchens and how they’ve been providing food to the poor since the 18th century already.
Soup kitchens still play a huge role in the 21st century to bring relief to those who can’t afford food. A pumpkin and sweet potato soup is an addition to the many plain beef-flavored soups provided at these soup kitchens. People arrive at the soup kitchen and are provided with a bowl of hot soup which can keep them going until such time that they are able to provide food for themselves.
Brief History of Soup
It was Count Rumford who had the idea to provide a low-cost but nutritional diet to the Bavarian military. He discovered that a tasty, cheap food was a soup made up of peas, barley, potatoes, wheat bread, salt, vinegar and water. How he would love to have seen that there is now a pumpkin and sweet potato soup.
Count Rumford’s soups which may not have included pumpkin and sweet potato soup at that time, became well known throughout Europe, and soup houses soon began to be established throughout Europe, England, and the USA to feed the poor.
One of the earliest soup kitchens in the United States was founded way back in 1802 where soup tickets were printed and which could be purchased and then distributed to the poor.
These kitchens began to disappear as some civic leaders began to believe that all kinds of people were just using them as handouts, making no effort to try and become self-reliant.
Just a few kitchens survived, operating on a temporary basis. The Salvation Army, however, remained in operation after being established in the late 1800s.
The Great Depression saw a resurgence in the soup kitchens. Due to the lack of employment and shortage of food manufacturing companies people depended on others to help them in their time of need. Food banks became a common means for families to supplement their hunger, (food bank fundraising). In fact, soup kitchens in the Great Depression were encouraged by Herbert Hoover who was the 31st American President. It was the emergence of these soup kitchens which were looked upon as outstanding events during his presidency.
Soup – Thousands of Years Old
Archaeologists tell us that they think that humans have been making soup for at least 20,000 years. Yes, the pumpkin and sweet potato soup wasn’t one of the first soups, but humans started making plain soup with the advent of clay pots. The humans of that day would take the clay pots and fill them with the meat they had caught, with nuts, grasses, and herbs they found as well as nuts and vegetables.
They would boil the contents over hot rocks whereas pumpkin and sweet potato soup today is made on a modern stove and there’s also pumpkin and sweet potato soup pressure cooker recipe for those who have a busy schedule. The archaeologists tell us that they believe that the very first soups were a blend of grains and water. Pumpkin and sweet potato soup is a far cry from this bland type of soup.
The Word ‘Soup’ and where it comes From
There are also a few theories as to where the word ‘soup’ actually comes from. Some people think the word comes from ancient Rome and is based on the Latin word ‘suppa’ which means bread in broth.
Others believe it comes from the Germanic word ‘sop’ which means the bread that soaked up the stew. Most historians believe that the English word comes from the French word ‘soupe’ which simply means soup or broth. Today when you hear the word soup, you can’t help but think of the most delicious pumpkin and sweet potato soup.
These historians believe that it was already as early as the 16th century that public restaurants started serving different soups. These restaurants that served soup were known as restoratifs which means ‘place to restore’.
Soup certainly has a long history and it has had an impact on humanity throughout the ages. Soup has been a food heavily relied on by the poor and across all nations.
It is quite possible that soup and all its varieties such as the awesome pumpkin and sweet potato soup have contributed to the many different recipes we have today. In the olden days, soups were simmered for hours, but in our rushed modern world, there are many prepared broths and soups that you can use as a base to make a soup. One disadvantage of this though is that they come with a high dose of sodium.
Soup and Bread – the basic Foods that Feed the World
Soup is the standard way to prepare a wholesome meal for people all over the world and the pumpkin and sweet potato soup is a perfect example. There are, however, probably only a few people who actually know about where soup originated. They probably don’t know that soup is regarded as a lifesaver food. It is a cheap but nourishing way to prepare a lot of food in one cooking session so that it can feed a whole lot of people who would go to bed hungry were it not for soup.
Soup – ideal for Picky Eaters
Soups are wonderful meals, especially when people have been ill and seem reluctant to eat solid foods. Soup has a definite value, and the introduction of a highly flavored liquid food such as the pumpkin and sweet potato soup at the start of a meal will increase the flow of gastric juices, stimulating the appetite and digestion.
Cream soups, purees, and broths are valuable aids for increasing the variety of nutrients in the meal, or even for furnishing the main dish of the meal. In fact, heavy meals should begin with an unthickened stock soup while a light meal may begin with a cream variety.
A great variety of soups can be made simply by adding to stock such favorites as pumpkin, carrots, and spaghetti. Cream soups are made with a white sauce foundation to which is added the strained pulp of tomatoes or vegetables.
A home-made soup which is lacking in strength or flavor may easily be improved by adding in some meat or vegetable extracts. A tin of soup added to the home-made soup will improve the flavor a great deal.
Soups such as the pumpkin and sweet potato soup make it easy to feed the picky invalid as well as small children who battle to eat their vegetables. When you choose two foods such as pumpkin and sweet potato and you put it into a soup and puree it, the invalid as well as the picky toddler will more likely tolerate the vegetables.
When you make soups like pumpkin and sweet potato soup or with other food, you can be sure that there are many health benefits. Also, a reason for this is that there are some nutrients that are better absorbed when heated.
An example of this is carrots which yield more absorbable beta carotene than when eaten raw.
Soup can be Frozen
One of the cool aspects with soups like the pumpkin and sweet potato soup is that they can be conveniently frozen. How wonderful it can be to know that on any day that you can’t bear the thought of cooking, there is a tasty quick and easy dinner for another day.
The best way to let soup such as the pumpkin and sweet potato soup to be frozen is to cool it down and then to pour the soup into a zip-top plastic freezer bag. The bag full of soup can then be laid flat in the freezer.
When you prepare soup, there is quite a bit of preparation. For instance, if you’re preparing to make a pumpkin and sweet potato soup, there will be quite a bit of peeling, slicing and chopping of the ingredients. These ingredients can include pumpkin, sweet potatoes, onion, and garlic.
That’s why it makes sense to prepare a generous amount of pumpkin and sweet potato soup
so that you can freeze quite a few packets instead of just one or two. Storing pumpkin and sweet potato soup in the freezer is an excellent way to preserve these savory liquid dishes which can just be heated whenever the need arises for a tasty snack.
Soup can be Frozen for up to 3 Months
The convenience of freezing pumpkin and sweet potato soup is that you can freeze soup for anywhere between 2 or 3 months. You don’t want to freeze it for longer than this as the longer it stays in the freezer, the less fresh and delicious it tastes.
In fact, any kind of food that remains, let it be pumpkin and sweet potato soup or any other soup in the freezer for a long time allows for tiny ice crystals to form in the fibers of the food. It is this that alters the taste and the texture of the food. It is why it is important to find out about freezing soups as there are some soups that don’t freeze well.
There are also some soups that have ingredients that expand under extreme temperatures. That is why it is important to use a container that is suitable for freezing and which allows for expansion. Another great option for freezing soup is to make use of plastic containers which are BPA-free.
- Consomme – a tasty fish or meat broth that has been clarified.
- Bisque – a thick, smooth soup made with shrimp, lobster or shellfish.
- Stock or broth – a thin, clear soup mostly made with chicken and typically fed to people who are battling to stomach solid foods.
- Chowder – thick soup usually made with seafood but can be with vegetables too.
- Bouillon – referring to dehydrated products sold as granules or cubes.
Soup, whether it is pumpkin and sweet potato soup or any other healthy soup, isn’t just a bowl of tasty liquid. There are different kinds of soups –
Pumpkin in a Soup – what is it?
Pumpkins used to make pumpkin and sweet potato soup are ancient fruits – believed to have been around for almost 5,000 years. The big pumpkin is often looked upon as the king of the vegetable patch. In fact, history is full of harvests, fairs, and markets where huge pumpkins steal the show. They are so huge that some of them are brought to the fair in trucks, and the heaviest, biggest pumpkin gets awarded with a ribbon.
In fact, just recently, a New Hampshire man presented the biggest pumpkin ever recorded in U.S. history. The huge pumpkin weighed in at 2,528 pounds and won a substantial monetary prize for its owner. It still isn’t the heaviest pumpkin though, because in 2016, a man from Belgium set the world record with a pumpkin that tipped the scales at 2,624 pounds.
This record has been entered into the Guinness Book of World Records. You can just imagine having the task of slicing up such a pumpkin and thinking up ways to use it in different foods.
It’s all very well growing such a monstrous vegetable or fruit but it can be difficult to cut up and store.
If you’re planning to bake or cook or make pumpkin and sweet potato soup with pumpkin, it would seem more logical to grow smaller varieties that you can pretty much use up in one or two sittings.
The value of a Pumpkin
Before you look to include pumpkin in your pumpkin and sweet potato soup, we examine the pumpkin just a little bit more so you can understand what exactly is going into your soup.
Pumpkin or Cucurbita pepo or Cucurbita maxima is a variety of squash, and apart from being a popular food in soups, it is also excellent for being used in smoothies and salads too.
It’s a superfood that is great to use all year round, both in hot or cold weather. With one cup of cooked pumpkin in a cup, you can expect to find that your pumpkin is giving you –
- Fat – 0g
- Sodium – 2mg
- Carbohydrates – 12g
- Protein – 2g
- Fiber – 3g
- Sugar – 2g
- Calories – 49
Those concerned about their weight will be pleased to know that there are no natural fats in fresh pumpkin. There is some added fat to be found in a few types of canned pumpkin. There are also some pumpkin-flavored foods that contain fat, and one example is sweet potato pumpkin pie.
For people looking for high protein foods, they won’t find it in pumpkin as pumpkin just has 2 grams of protein per cup.
Some of the common questions people ask about pumpkin?
Are all pumpkins the same?
All pumpkins can be used for cooking purposes including making pumpkin and sweet potato soup, but there are certainly some varieties that are better for cooking than others. Many times you see an influx of pumpkins in your store at Halloween time, and these large pumpkins, while they can still be used very successfully for cooking, they are actually best for carving.
If the manager of your store were sharp, he or she will have marked the pumpkins with words such as ‘pie pumpkin’ for instance. These pumpkins are ideal for use in a pumpkin and sweet potato soup as they are usually smaller-type pumpkins which would be a better choice for cooking. Some of the names of pumpkins that are considered the best for cooking are Kentucky Field, Chelsey, Dickinson Field, Buckskin and others.
What is canned pumpkin? Is it as healthy as a fresh pumpkin?
The secret to buying canned foods is to always read the labeling on the container. This is because most times these tins contain more than just pumpkin; even though you can still use them to cook your pumpkin and sweet potato soup, but it won’t be as healthy as the pumpkin and sweet potato soup made with fresh pumpkin. SO, for the best pumpkin and potato soup and which is guaranteed to be vegetarian or vegan pumpkin sweet potato soup, go for fresh pumpkin. If, however, you need to buy canned pumpkin, then try and look for canned pumpkin that doesn’t have added sodium, fat or sugar.
Can it be possible to be Allergic to Pumpkin?
Yes. Pumpkins have been cultivated in North America for thousands of years and are consumed the world over. For some people, pumpkins don’t offer health benefits but rather an allergic response.
An allergic reaction is brought about when the immune system mistakenly identifies a protein in food. With the pumpkin, it could be the seeds or the pulp. Antibodies are released which are known as immunoglobulin E, or IgE. This is to protect the body.
One of the protein allergens in pumpkin is proﬁlin. If you are allergic to pumpkin, consuming other members of the squash family such as cucumber, for instance, could trigger an allergic reaction too.
Touching the pulp or seeds can cause dermatitis in certain people and even inhaling the vapors from cooking pumpkin can also bring about allergic symptoms in sensitive people.
The Symptoms of Being Allergic to Pumpkin
After eating pumpkin when you’re allergic, within minutes you can be itching and have nasal congestion or asthma. You could even have swelling of the face. Just sometimes, although it is rare, anaphylaxis may develop and then urgent medical attention will be required.
Allergic? Avoid all Foods with Pumpkin
The most sensible way to prevent an allergic reaction to pumpkin is to simply avoid any food such as the pumpkin and sweet potato soup or any other food that has pumpkin in it. That is precisely why the Federal Food and Drug Act requires that every single ingredient in foods be listed on labels of these canned and packaged processed foods.
People have also enjoyed a pumpkin soup. There is nothing nicer than coming indoors and finding that there is a thick, savory soup waiting for you. Pumpkin and sweet potato soup is so filling that it is good enough to be the main meal. That shouldn’t stop you from serving it as an appetizer as well. The best part about pumpkin soup is that when you start preparing it, it can be ready in about 45 minutes to an hour.
The ingredients in the plain and healthy pumpkin soup recipe or pumpkin and sweet potato soup are simple too because it’s just 4 cups of cubed pumpkin and one large sweet potato, also peeled and cubed. Onions and garlic with some olive oil as well as salt and pepper will guarantee you a tasty soup.
The Versatile Pumpkin
Pumpkins are also super nutritious and sweet while also being surprisingly low in calories. You just have to do research and you’ll see that the pumpkin is a versatile food, found in heaps of different recipes, both sweet and savory.
You’ll find pumpkin being used in cakes, soups, such as pumpkin and sweet potato soup, pies and curries Many people don’t know that the seeds and flesh can all be eaten. Most people just assume that the pumpkin is a vegetable, but in fact, it’s actually a fruit. It is part of the Cucurbitaceous family, with squash, melons, and cucumbers being part of its family.
Many people associate the pumpkin with the large fruit that is bright orange, but there are actually quite a number of pumpkin varieties. Some have a plain white peel, while there are other pumpkins that are yellow, green and red and some are plain while others are stripped.
Some pumpkins are huge and then there are even little miniature pumpkins that you can hold easily in the palm of your hand.
Some general facts about pumpkins –
- The outside, colored part of the pumpkin is known as the skin.
- The skin of the pumpkin is coarse, smooth, rough or bumpy.
- The fleshy inside part that is used for cooking is known as the flesh.
- Pumpkins aren’t just round – there are some long varieties.
Pumpkins – full of Nutrition
Pumpkins are nutritious, packed full of important vitamins and antioxidants and you get all this in the pumpkin and sweet potato soup. A portion of pumpkin will give you vitamin A, iron, fiber and protein. Vitamin A is an immune booster and if you are deficient in this vitamin, you will find that you seem to be always getting colds and flu. Vitamin A actually has a couple of important functions – normalizing cell division and helping mucous membranes maintain their structural integrity to keep invaders out.
Vitamin A deficiency can cause the thymus to shrink and this is what causes an impaired immune system.
As we know, beta-carotene is converted into vitamin A by the body. Beta carotene is the carotenoid responsible for the orange or red color of fruits and vegetables. Foods rich in beta carotene include apricots, carrots, yams, sweet potatoes, squash or pumpkin, peaches, and mangoes.
Pumpkins are one of the richest sources of beta-carotene. If you do research on beta carotene, you see that it is important for reducing the risk of heart disease and cancer. As previously suggested, it’s not only the pumpkin’s flesh that is packed with goodness, the oil and seeds are also packed with health-boosting benefits. You can also get canned pumpkin which has its own goodness, providing both protein and fiber.
Sweet Potato – often Paired with Pumpkin in Cooking
Now that we know the benefits that pumpkin can offer us in food, we need to look at another vegetable that is paired with pumpkin in a delicious soup – the sweet potato.
The beauty about the sweet potato is that it’s an affordable, cheap food and can be used easily in your delicious pumpkin and sweet potato soup. If anyone is battling to feed a family on a low budget, then this tuber is a brilliant choice as it is both cheap and nourishing.
When you are trying to feed a family on a tight budget, it pays to look out for foods that are cheap but also surprising valuable in terms of nutrition. What most people love about pumpkin and sweet potato soup is that it can be a healthy, delicious meal with simple ingredients and easy to whip up.
Some people add pumpkin or carrot to a sweet potato soup because all the foods added in blend perfectly together. Certainly, carrots won’t take away from the sweet potato flavor. With this soup, you can use some chicken stock. This, however, isn’t necessary, as there are people who can’t bear that anything should take away from the wonderful flavor of the sweet potato.
Some people add cream to give the soup additional flavor but when you’re counting your pennies, you will no doubt give expensive cream a miss because the soup is delicious and creamy as it is.
Ingredients for a Tasty Sweet Potato Soup
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 medium-sized onion and 2 garlic cloves chopped up
- 3 large, peeled and cubed sweet potatoes
- Salt and pepper
- 5 cups of water
- Pinch of ground nutmeg
The instructions for this simple pumpkin soup recipe are as simple as can be.
Simply melt the butter in a large pot and add your chopped up onion and garlic. Sauté for about 5 minutes or until the onions and garlic are tender.
Add your sweet potatoes and saute for about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add about 5 cups of water to the pot and bring to the boil. Add the sweet potato and simmer for half an hour. Puree the soup in the pot until smooth and then add in the nutmeg and some thyme.
What is the Sweet Potato?
The sweet potato is an underground tuber, and even though they are quite hard and dry when in their raw state, they are actually stems which means they make more stems and leaves. Just like the pumpkin, they are also rich in beta carotene. Also similar to the pumpkin, sweet potato benefits are many. They are packed full of nutrition, and many people have shifted over from your regular potato to sweet potatoes.
They are just as versatile as the pumpkin and you can eat them boiled, fried, baked or steamed. They are also a yellow, orangey color. Sometimes they are referred to as yams but this isn’t actually correct because yams are actually a different species.
Pumpkin and Sweet Potato Soup with Carrots
We’re going to look at one very popular way to make Pumpkin and Sweet Potato Soup with a touch of carrot in it too. For this roasted pumpkin soup, the sweet potato, pumpkin, carrots, and onion are all roasted together in the oven for a delectable pumpkin and sweet potato soup.
The vegetables are then pureed so that you end up with a smooth and creamy pumpkin and sweet potato soup that is packed full of flavor. Of course, with these ingredients, the soup is going to be packed full of nutrition and goodness.
Who doesn’t love the convenience and ease of one-pot recipes and this is precisely what this recipe for a pumpkin and sweet potato soup is. By going the slightly longer route and placing the vegetables into the oven for 30 minutes, ensures you get even more depth and flavor.
You get a wonderfully, naturally sweet/savory soup that everyone will love. The soup will suit lots of different people with dietary issues too as it it a dairy-free soup.
Benefit of dairy-free
This is very useful as many of us grew up being taught at school that milk was essential to a healthy diet, giving us strong teeth and bones. Further research has revealed that in fact, we don’t need milk at all. Many people are cutting out dairy as they try to lose weight. They try to clear their skin of acne, thought to be caused by the presence of growth hormones in milk.
Other people are lactose intolerant. It is believed that about 65% of the world’s population have a reduced ability to digest lactose. They find that milk causes bloating, gas and cramps. Lactase is an enzyme in your body that helps you digest lactose. Consuming less dairy can help with your digestion and help to avoid bloating and cramps.
This pumpkin and sweet potato soup with added carrot is irresistible and some people like the sweet side of it and even enjoy the soup with Greek yogurt.
The pumpkin and sweet potato soup also freezes well making it ideal for portioning out certain portion sizes to take to work or to enjoy at home, whenever you like.
It is such an easy, full-of-goodness, tasty soup, perfect for cold winter days but just as delicious to enjoy cold on a summer’s day with garlic bread.
Let’s look at the ingredient list for this easy pumpkin soup recipe –
- Sweet potato
- Olive oil
- Stock – vegetable, chicken
- Cumin and thyme
- Salt and pepper
How to make this wonderful pumpkin and sweet potato soup with carrot
Start off by preparing your oven. Set it to 200C or 390F.
Prepare a baking tray with baking paper. Take your sweet potato, pumpkin, carrot and onion pieces and scatter them onto the tray.
Coat all of them with oil. Sprinkle thyme over all of the vegetables and pop them into the oven for about half an hour to 40 minutes or until all the vegetables are a nice gentle brown coloring.
The next step is to remove the roasted pumpkin and other vegetables and put them into a fairly large pot. Pour in the stock and also sprinkle in your cumin. Then puree this with a blender until smooth.
If you don’t have the luxury of a blender, you can use a fork. The slightly large pieces of soft vegetables can add to the soup’s thickness. However, if the pumpkin and sweet potato soup
is too thick you can add more stock until you reach the consistency you like.
You can put this puree onto the stove and cook on medium heat for about 5 to 10 minutes, stirring regularly. It is then ready to be served and eaten with hot buttery toast.
If there are leftovers you can store these in the fridge and for as long as 3 months.
Soups are a wonderfully tasty, nourishing meal. Soups such as the pumpkin and sweet potato soup have been feeding people all around the globe for centuries, and what started off as some grain added into water, has now become so thick and creamy, it can be served as the main meal.
When you make a soup with two very nutritious foods – pumpkin and sweet potato – you know that your pumpkin and sweet potato soup is going to be super tasty but also food provided to us out of the goodness of nature.