Pumpkin Soup with Shiitake Mushrooms

Last night, I attended a talk on “super foods”, given by holistic nutritionist, Kathy Shackleton.  Two of the foods mentioned – that are super local, too – are pumpkins and shiitake mushrooms.  I decided to try out a new soup recipe for lunch today, which featured both of these.

Before I get to the recipe, a few nutritional tips about shiitakes, from the website “Super Foods for Super Health”

  • Shiitakes are legendary for their immune system modulating benefits
  • Their medicinal qualities are attributed in part to interferons present in the mushroom that provide a strong antiviral effect, inhibiting pathogens like parasites, viruses, bacteria and even cancerous growth
  • Natural immune boosting effects as an antiviral also regulate blood pressure and lower cholesterol
  • They contain a good supply of long chain sugars, called polysaccharides, that provide a long burning fuel source that protects the nerves and lubricates the body
  • Polysaccharides also stimulate immune response and enhance host defenses which inhibit tumor cells

Add to this list their fabulous meaty, woodsy flavour and it’s a win-win recipe!

Bon Appetit!

Pumpkin Soup with Shiitake Mushrooms.

1 small pumpkin, peeled, deseeded and cut into cubes
2 medium onions, roughly chopped
2 small sweet potatoes or yams, peeled and cubed
1/4 cup cashews (sub almonds, pecans, walnuts, pumpkin seeds)  ** I used ground pecans
1/2 tsp. cumin, salt
1/4 tsp. nutmeg, pepper
5 cup vegetable broth
1/2 tbsp. coconut oil

1 lb shiitake mushrooms
3 tbsp. pumpkin seeds
1 tbsp. Italian parsley, choppedDSCN9611
1 tbsp. organic butter
1/2 tsp.s salt

In a large pot, heat the coconut oil on medium heat; add the onions and cook, stirring consistently, for 15 minutes or until onions are fragrant and transparent and the caramelization has begun to occur. Add the pumpkin, yams, cashews, cumin, nutmeg, salt and pepper; cook for 7 minutes, stirring consistently. Add the stock and bring to a boil, then simmer for 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a dry saute pan on medium high heat, toast the pumpkin seeds; shake the pan throughout to ensure the seeds do not burn; remove from heat and cool. In the same pan, melt the butter and cook the shiitake mushrooms for 7 minutes; sprinkle with parsley, remove from heat and set aside.

Once the pumpkin and yams are tender, remove from heat and with a hand blender buzz until smooth. To serve, garnish with pumpkin seeds and shiitake mushrooms.




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