- pumpkin puree, 1 cup or more
- chopped, cooked chicken, 1 cup or more
- broth, 2 cups, plus water to cover ingredients
- noodles, precooked
This recipe is flexible. It will be great if you only have 30 minutes, or if you have all day to prepare it. You can use Chicken OR Turkey. You can use Pumpkin or any Squash. You can omit things and add things. But here is what I did.
I had 2 cups of cooked pumpkin flesh, roughly mashed by hand, leftover from Halloween front porch decor.
I had an already roasted chicken and the gelatinous cold broth in the bottom of the baking dish. Pumpkin chicken soup is my favorite! And I’m sick with a cold so garlic was a must.
Begin by heating up a soup pot on Medium to High heat. While it’s warming, chop or mince as much garlic as you want. I minced 8 cloves. Add a Tablespoon of olive oil and saute the garlic. Add 1/2 teaspoon dry ginger or 1 t. fresh ginger. Add 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder (that’s the orange color in curry mixtures. Research on Turmeric is showing that it will help prevent Alzheimer’s disease, so it’s really good for your brain!).
Give this a stir, lower the temperature when the garlic is browning. Add the pumpkin pulp. Give it another stir. Add some celery and carrots if you’d like. Onion if you’d like. I did add some of each. Fresh or dried parsley is nice. Next chore is to pick apart the chicken carcass. (You may also choose to simply cut up some chicken breasts and saute them along with the garlic). Pick off the meat and add it and the broth to the soup. Or if you have all day, boil the carcass in water and make more broth. Or lastly, you may add store purchased broth, equaling 6 cups.
*If you are just learning to cook and you mostly have canned pantry items, I offer this suggestion: Make the above garlic, ginger, turmeric, pumpkin mixture, and add canned chicken noodle soup to it. That’s it. So easy, and a reinvention and using up of something you already have on hand.*
Noodles. I cooked some curly egg noodles separately and then added them to the soup later. But you may add an extra cup or two of plain water to your soup, and add the noodles to the pot and let them directly cook in the pot. Yum. I did not add any additional salt or pepper, because my baked chicken had been seasoned (by me) with salt, paprika, thyme, and pepper.
I left this soup chunky and thick.
It was so good!!! My son ate 3 bowls of it.
In addition, I was reading an article in a Parenting magazine (Nov 2012 issue) about getting kids to eat anything and everything. There were some quotes that resonated with me and that I truly agree with. I’m going to share them below. May you be encouraged to help your kids eat well today.
“When children are engaged from an early age in the process of where their food comes from, (planning meals, shopping for groceries, cooking with parent, growing in garden) their relationship to it is transformed.”
“Don’t blame restaurants. If you keep ordering corn dogs and chocolate-chip pancakes with whipped topping from the kids’ menu, they’ll keep selling them. They idea that there’s even such a thing as ‘kids’ foods’ is entrenched in American parenting, in other cultures, kids eat what their parents eat!”
“Picky Eaters are made, not born.”
If you have questions about how to engage your children in meal planning, shopping, cooking, or growing food, please send me an email. I have training from working with people with physical and developmental disabilities that I have found really works well with my 2 year old as well (Positive Behavior Support anyone?). But honestly, just communicating with them about what they are eating and where it came from will go a long way. “Remember that pumpkin that was on the porch, and then we baked it a few days ago? well, that’s in our soup, look!”
“Do you want to help pick some parsley from the front yard?”
“Can you please stand on this chair and wash the carrots and celery?”
My son loves peeling garlic too.
Anyway, you get the idea…try it, it works! Or at the very least…Please, please sit down and eat with your children. When they are hungry and they see you enjoying something, they will be more likely to try it, than if they are eating alone at a different time and place than you. Added bonus; families that eat dinner together are closer, friendlier with one another, and the kids tend to stay away from drugs and sex when young. Wow! The power of breaking bread together is awesome.