Mayan-style Pumpkin & Chicken Soup

Many people are used to eating fall pumpkin in sweet baked goods but it is also an economical and nutritious addition to soups and stews. Here pumpkin, allspice and sage are combined with chicken broth and cooked chicken to make a satisfying rich soup. The toasted pumpkin seed garnish adds an unusual earthy crunch.
Serves: 8
Prep Time: 25 min
Cook Time: 30 min

Ingredients

6 cups pumpkin, raw, cubed
1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup onion(s), diced
1/2 tsp allspice, ground
2 tbsp sage, fresh, sliced
1 tbsp red hot chili pepper(s), minced
1/4 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 tbsp honey
3 cups chicken thighs, cooked, diced
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds (pepitas), toasted

Food Safety

Before you start, wash all surfaces and your hands with soap and warm water, and remember to wash your hands, utensils and cutting boards after they touch raw meat or eggs. Avoid cross-contamination by using a different cutting board for your meat and other ingredients. Make sure you’re cooking to safe temperatures and chilling any leftovers within two hours. For more food safety tips, visit our Food Safety at Home Section.

Steps

  1. Prepare the cubed pumpkin (or squash) by peeling and cutting into 1 inch (2.5 cm) chunks. Set aside.

  2. Heat oil over medium-high heat in a soup pot that has a lid. Add diced onion, ground allspice, thinly sliced sage leaves, minced chili peppers (optional) and freshly ground black pepper. Sauté a few minutes until onions are softened. Add cubed pumpkin and toss to coat with seasonings.

  3. Stir in chicken broth and honey. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, stir occasionally and simmer 15 minutes or until pumpkin is fork tender. Puree with an immersion blender.

  4. Stir in cooked chopped chicken and simmer 5 minutes to heat through. Taste and adjust seasoning adding salt, allspice or sage if needed.

  5. Toast the pumpkin seeds in a heated dry skillet for a few minutes. Shake pan to move seeds around so they don't burn. To serve ladle into bowls and garnish with the toasted pumpkin seeds.

Helpful Tip

If you want a gluten-free version make sure you use a gluten-free chicken broth. You may be tempted to substitute canned pumpkin puree for the fresh pumpkin in this soup. That will work but it is not as good. However, the recipe works well with any fresh dense orange vegetable such as butternut squash. In early Mayan pumpkin soup recipes, the pumpkin would have been baked whole in hot ashes. Once peeled and chopped it would be thinned with broth from wildfowl or game.

Nutrition Info

Per 250 g serving Amount
Calories200
Protein18 g
Fat9 g
Saturated Fat2 g
Carbohydrate14 g
Fibre2 g
Sugar4 g
Cholesterol50 mg
Sodium230 mg
Per 250 g serving % Daily Value
Potassium17
Calcium4
Iron10
Vitamin A30
Vitamin C20
Vitamin B616
Vitamin B1214
Folate11
Zinc25