By Elizabeth Ward, MS, RD
Many health experts view Thanksgiving as a nutritional nightmare. Me? Not so much.
You might expect dire warnings about the perils of Thanksgiving dinner, but I prefer to see the good in what we gobble.
Sure, I eat more than I should. It would be worse without vegetables to fill me up, however.
I look forward to turkey, stuffing, and pie as much as the next person, but I focus most on vegetables, particularly pumpkin, butternut squash, sweet potato, yams, Brussels sprouts, and potatoes. The dietitian in me knows they’re packed with filling fluid and fiber, vitamins, minerals, and beneficial plant compounds, while my “foodie” side is just happy to savor their flavor.
I’ve never met a vegetable I didn’t like (including the much-maligned white potato), and it shows at Thanksgiving: We always have at least four vegetable “sides” no matter the size of our dinner crowd.
With the exception of mashed potatoes, I never make the same vegetable dishes twice. I’d rather experiment with new recipes every year. Creamy Pumpkin Soup is this year’s creation. It’s aromatic, elegant, easy to prepare, and may help you to eat less. Research suggests starting a meal with fluid-filled foods, such as soup or salad, naturally curbs calories, which is helpful on Thanksgiving, and every other day of the year. Enjoy!
Creamy Pumpkin Soup
Makes 5 cups.
1 T. olive oil
1 medium onion, minced
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. curry powder
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
2 15-ounce cans pureed pumpkin
2 cups 2% reduced-fat milk
Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion. Saute for 3 minutes. Add the ginger, curry powder, cumin, nutmeg, salt, and garlic. Cook for 1 minute. (For a smoother soup, puree the ingredients at this point, add them back to the pan, and continue preparing the recipe.) Add the chicken broth and pumpkin to the pot. Reduce heat and simmer for five minutes. Stir in the milk until just heated through (do not boil).