antidepressant spicy pumpkin soup

This is my last pumpkin recipe this Autumn before we step into Christmas preparations. Pumpkin soup is one of my favorite meal for for cold Autumn and Winter months. Smooth, nutty, spicy and very warming and fulfilling. Especially if you base it on bone broth, it gives extra thickness and richness to this soup.

Of course you can prepare it 100% vegan using veggie broth and coconut milk.

If you’re not vegan but don’t have coconut milk on hand, double or single cream will work great as well. Most of the times I use butternut squash to make this soup, in my opinion it’s the best. Sweet, nutty taste and beautiful orange flesh that gives this intensive in colour delicious soup. Hokkaido squash will be also great for soups if you have it available in your local shop. Also very sweet, nutty in beautiful strong orange colour flesh.

A 100g serving of butternut squash contains about 11.69g of carbohydrates, 2g of fiber, 1g of protein, and is a rich source of vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin C, and vitamin E. It also contains moderate levels of magnesium and manganese. Butternut squash seeds have been refered for reducing social anxiety disorder and depression. According to researchers pumpkin seeds has a antidepressant compounds and have an antidepressant food score (AFS) of 47%. It’s linked to tryptophan (an essential amino acid) and 5-hydroxytryptophan (a tryptophan intermediate metabolite in the formation of the neurotransmitter serotonin), both being promoted as remedy for depression.

AFS is based on a nutrient profiling system devised to identify foods with the highest nutrient density of nutrients with clinical evidence to support their role in depressive disorders. Twelve Antidepressant Nutrients relate to the prevention and treatment of depressive disorders: Folate, iron, long-chain omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA), magnesium, potassium, selenium, thiamine, vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, vitamin C, and zinc. The highest scoring animal foods are: oysters and mussels, various seafoods, and organ meats. The highest scoring plant-based foods: leafy greens, lettuces, peppers, and cruciferous vegetables. If you’d like to see all the foods from AFS list click here, also I encourage you to read this interesting research about Antidepressant Nutrients.

As you can see this soup has plenty of benefits. It’s not only rich and warming, but also full of nutrients, healthy spices and if you add generous amount of pumpkin seeds, also works as antidepressant. What else would you expect from the soup? It’s also very easy and quick to prepare. You can use fresh squash, but also if you have a lot of pumpkin you can peel them, chop in smaller pieces and freeze. It will make the preparations even quicker – just grab some pumpkin pieces from the freezer and pop into the pot with hot broth.

antidepressant spicy pumpkin soup

INGREDIENTS (for about 1.5L of soup):

  • 1 large butternut squash (about 1.3-1.5kg)
  • about 1L homemade beef bone broth or veggie broth
  • 1 small brown onion
  • 1-2 garlic cloves
  • natural rock salt to taste
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp chilli flakes (or more if you like it very hot)
  • 250 ml coconut milk
  • slice of butter or a tbsp coconut oil
  • pumpkin seeds
  • some boiling water if the soup will be too thick

DIRECTIONS

First prepare butternut squash. Using a sharp knife or peeler, peel the skin. Cut squash in half and using a teaspoon scoop out the seeds. Then using a big knife chop your pumpkin in smaller pieces. Be careful with your fingers, squash is quite hard.

In about 2L pot, heat a slice of butter or a tablespoon of coconut oil. Finely chop brown onion and fry couple minutes until it get soften. Add chopped pumpkin, all spices, salt, garlic cloves and bone broth or veggie broth. Cover the pot with lid and boil until squash will be tender (for about 20 minutes, depending how big are your pumpkin pieces).

Using a blender blend the soup until smooth. Add coconut milk and if you feel like it’s too thick for you add little bit of boiling water. Season with salt to taste. Pour the soup into the bowls, sprinkle with additional chilli flakes and generous amount of pumpkin seeds. Serve hot.

Enjoy!

Source of knowledge:

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2468227620303136

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6147775/

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