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Pumpkin Leek Soup

If you’re looking for a way to boost your health, this nutrient-dense soup is for you! It’s loaded with essential vitamins and minerals and is an excellent source of beta- carotene, thanks to the pumpkin. The smoked paprika gives this dish a special, smoky kick, but standard paprika will do the job too. Make a batch (or two!) and savor every delicious spoonful.

Developed by Sara Quessenberry for Cleveland Clinic Wellness

Ingredients:

41⁄2-pound sugar pumpkin or kabocha squash 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 leeks (white and light green part), sliced

into thin half moons and rinsed
1 stalk celery, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, plus more for serving
3⁄4 teaspoon kosher salt
3⁄4 teaspoon smoked paprika, plus more for serving
1⁄4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1⁄4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Yield: 6 Servings

Preparation:

Heat the oven to 400°F. Cut the pumpkin in half and scoop out the seeds. Place the cut sides down on a sheet pan and roast until tender, 50 to 60 minutes. Scoop out the flesh (about 3 cups) and set aside.

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the leeks and celery, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add 5 cups of water, the roasted pumpkin, thyme, salt, paprika, cayenne, and black pepper. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes.

Use a regular or handheld blender to puree the soup until smooth. If the soup is too thick, add more water as necessary and heat until warm. Serve topped with the extra thyme leaves and a sprinkle of paprika.

Nutrition Info Per Serving:

(About 13⁄4 cups) 230 calories, 5 g total fat, 1 g saturated fat, 4 g protein, 47 g carbohydrate, 8 g dietary fiber, 9 g sugar, 0 mg cholesterol, 270 mg sodium

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