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Quick & Easy Pumpkin Soup

Yesterday while I was out on gym visits, I stopped by Whole Foods in Winston-Salem for a quick lunch from the hot bar. It's further away but I like it better than the Greensboro one because ours seems to be overrun with curry. Every day. Curry. Everything.

I almost always make a salad or do a protein with veggies at the hot bar, but I could feel a cold coming on, so soup was in order.

I bought - and ate - the biggest cup of soup possible. Since the other options had flour in them (no thanks - this chick does not do wheat), I went for the only gluten-free option available: Roasted Garlic Pumpkin Soup. 

It was delish (obviously, because I think I ate like 2 cups of it), but a little too rich from the heavy cream. Never assume that just because it's on the Whole Foods hot bar that it's healthy! So not true! The soup was good but it gave me that, "I can feel my throat closing" feeling that I get from eating too-rich dairy-based foods like cheesecake and full-fat ice cream. 

When I woke up this morning and realized my cold was sticking around for another day, I decided to try my hand at a less-rich but still yummy homemade pumpkin soup. For a lighter, healthier soup, I used a recipe from Minimalist Baker that used lite coconut milk instead of cream. Coconut haters: you can't even taste any hint of coconut whatsoever and using coconut milk does not make this soup taste like suntan lotion. Promise. 

I'm not one to celebrate all those "National _______ Day" social media fake holidays ("National Hot Chocolate Day! National Hot Dog Day! National Donut Day!"), but it's worth mentioning that it happens to be - you guessed it - National Pumpkin Day.

Or, as Fat Loss Foodies call it: Wednesday. 

Note the pumpkin-on-pumpkin action here...

Note the pumpkin-on-pumpkin action here...


Dairy-free, gluten-free

Serves 3-4 - Adapted from Minimalist Baker

INGREDIENTS

2 1/4 c. pumpkin puree (canned - or roasted and pureed from scratch, you overachiever)

1 Tbs. olive oil

2 shallots, diced

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 c. lite coconut milk

2 c. reduced-sodium chicken stock

2 Tbs. maple syrup

1/4 tsp. each: sea salt, black pepper, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

DIRECTIONS

1. In a large saucepan over medium heat, add olive oil, shallots, and garlic. Sauté for 3 minutes or until vegetables are soft and translucent. 

2. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer.

3. Transfer to a Vitamix or food processor, or use an immersion blender and puree until smooth. Return soup to the pot and continue over medium-low heat for 10-20 minutes. The soup will thicken as it cooks. 

Let cool slightly before serving. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary. I added at least another 1/2 tsp. sea salt.

NOTE: To make this vegetarian and/or vegan, substitute vegetable stock for the chicken stock.