|Curried Pumpkin Bean Soup with Kale|
Usually when people cook with pumpkin in the fall it is to make a dessert, such as pumpkin pie, muffins or cookies. But there are plenty of savory uses for the beloved pumpkin as well. I was hoping to have a few home grown sugar pumpkins to cook with this year since I planted about a dozen seeds back in the spring, but unfortunately despite many flowering vines, our garden only produced one pumpkin, that is currently helping to decorate the front step. So for this recipe, and most of the recipes in which I use pumpkin, the canned variety is a fantastic substitute. I got the inspiration for this soup from a couple of bags of dried beans that I bought from my local organic farm that were so pretty, like little works of art, I had to try them. The best way to cook dried beans, in my opinion, is low and slow in a nice soup, and nothing is easier than throwing a bunch of ingredients into a crock pot. I had never made a pumpkin soup before, despite my mom telling me all about different creamy squash soups she has made and seeing recipes online and on TV. I just wanted to make sure it didn't taste too much like pie, or too much like plain squash, but hit a balance right in the middle. So in addition to the curry powder, I still added in some traditional pumpkin pie spices along with a decent amount of onion and garlic. The house started to smell amazing within a couple of hours and when I finally opened up the lid to add in the kale, fresh from my garden, I couldn't wait to taste the soup. The combination of sweet and savory flavors, the hint of spice from the cayenne, combined to make a truly satisfying vegan dish that my husband, son and I all enjoyed. And every one of the ingredients are their own nutritional superstar, so it is a meal that your body will truly thank you for. I guarantee it will give you energy, boost your immunity and give you that little extra something you need to get through whatever this autumn day may throw your way.