Posts Tagged ‘pumpkin soup’

Everything from Soup to Nuts – Spicy Foods in the Old World and Asia

June 22, 2012

Italian Pumpkin Soup

When I used to visit Aunt Adel, she used to prepare a six course Italian meal described by her as “Everything from Soup to Nuts.” Now any one of the courses could have been a meal unto itself but if you were really Italian, which I was not, you learned to pace yourself, which I did not. 

I never much thought about the purpose of each course and why some foods were alleged to go together until I first started thinking about the Inflammation Factor and healthy anti-inflammatory spices. Now as I mentioned before on the post on pumpkin soup, the addition of a chicken breast and some carrots makes this a hearty meal and since pumpkin is still on sale, I decided to check it out and find out how healthy it was.

I went to the Nutritionaldata site to check for the calories, protein, carbohydrates and Inflammation Factor for each ingredient including a chicken breast and carrots. I added up the totals for everything in the pot and was amazed at how healthy this soup really is and how high the anti -inflammatory qualities are. The results have been divided in two to reflect that the pot holds enough food for two people or two meals.

Calories 319
Protein 46
Carbohydrates 30
Inflammation Factor 709

Now this is a very impressive balanced low calorie anti-inflammatory meal, just the type I wanted to experiment with on my detox. Since I never do anything half way, I added fresh grated ginger, hot pepper and celery and more than doubled the anti-inflammatory properties without altering the other values by much.

I begin to see the concept of “Soup to Nuts” when I checked the anti-inflammatory properties of Almonds which Aunt Adel traditionally served at the end of the meal and found out they also had a positive influence. The concept would appear to be that if the meal started with and ended with foods high in anti-inflammatory properties, you could indulge in whatever you liked in the middle courses.

Pinto bean Curry

This new knowledge got me to thinking about other old world foods so I checked on some Indian Recipes while searching for a vegan recipe. The pinto bean recipe was also an original Indian recipe and unmodified by me as I don’t know enough about Indian Foods to alter the spice blends, but “I know what I like.” Once again I was utterly amazed at how high the anti-inflammatory properties are.

Calories 586
Protein 19
Carbohydrates 82
Inflammation Factor 1141

I guess in the old days, the people of the world did not have the luxury of picking and choosing what they were going to eat and just ate whatever was available to survive. To compensate for what might be the ill effects of refined flour and white rice, they just added spices and balance to the meals and got on with their lives. In many of these cultures, people live longer than Americans despite drinking too much wine and eating refined grains and starches so, I guess spices could be important.

In my mind, the jury on anti-inflammatory foods is still out but I intend to monitor what I naturally eat for the next year and make my decision after I go through a winter where my level of aches and pains traditionally increases.

Pumpkin-Broccoli Soup for Vegans, Vegetarians and Carnivores

May 1, 2012

Vegan Pumpkin and Broccoli Stem Soup

I am not really working on healthy eating other than controlling the amount I eat. I just happen to like very weird foods. Once I found out that you could cook broccoli stems into a very pleasant soup, I expanded my horizon by making an acorn squash and broccoli stem soup. Recently, the price of pumpkin got as low as 38 cents per pound and I had some leftover broccoli stems that I had saved so I made a vegan pumpkin-broccoli soup based on my acorn combination.

Vegetarian Pumpkin and Broccoli Stem Soup

I also have friends with weird preferences; vegan with no cheese, vegetarian with cheese and others like me who want meat in the meal. I firmly believe that you should always tell your guests the truth and plan on accommodating everyone. In this case it was no problem at all. I made the base soup with vegetable broth and served cheese at the table. For me, I microwaved some frozen meatballs and added them to my bowl of soup. Everybody had a bowl of soup their own way just as it should be.

Pumpkin and Broccoli Stem Soup with Meatballs

The lead picture is Vegan, the next vegetarian and the final is carnivore. The recipe for the soup is not repeated because I basically followed the recipe for Super Vegan Acorn Squash Soup and left out the macaroni and substituted the cubed pumpkin and broccoli stems for the acorn squash.

Cubed Pumpkin and Broccoli Stems

As I am writing this post, I decided to find out how healthy this soup that my daughter and I jokingly call “Dumpster Soup” because it is made from ingredients that others throw out. Presently, pumpkin is grown where ever humans permanently reside on this planet. The oldest pumpkin-related seeds date between 7000 and 5500 BC and were found in Mexico. The medicinal properties of pumpkin include anti-diabetic, antioxidant, anti-carcinogenic, and anti-inflammatory. Broccoli was derived from cultivated leafy crops in the Northern Mediterranean in about the 6th century BCE or about 2600 years ago. A high intake of broccoli has been found to reduce the risk of aggressive prostate cancer and broccoli consumption has also been shown to be beneficial in the prevention of heart disease.

It looks like this soup is very healthy and even more important it tastes good enough to serve to company.