Halloween Pumpkin Recipes - Pumpkin Patch Soup

Naturally when one thinks of Halloween you think of pumpkins. At this time of year we see pumpkins on every block and street corner. They are the season. Most people are not aware of the many nutritional benefits of pumpkin. They are extremely high in antioxidants and beta-carotene. Beta-carotene has been identified as a leading heart-disease and cancer fighter. Pumpkin is low in calories and amazingly full of fiber. Pumpkins are 90 percent water and were once recommended for removing freckles and curing snake bites.

Pumpkins are members of the vine crops family called cucurbits. Pumpkins originated in Central America and In early colonial times, pumpkins were used as an ingredient for the crust of pies, not the filling. Unbeknownst to many, pumpkins are 90 percent water and are classified as a a fruit.This recipe is a great low fat variation of the original recipe and can be used and enjoyed year round.  

Pumpkin Patch Soup - Makes 4 Servings  
13 3/4 oz. fat-free chicken broth  
1 large onion, diced  
2 carrots, diced  
1/2 tsp. baking soda  
1 tsp. cinnamon  
1/3 tsp. salt  
1/8 tsp. pepper  
16 oz. canned pumpkin  
2 cups evaporated fat-free milk  
1/4 cup low-fat sour cream   4 tsp. bacon bits    

1. In a large pot, combine the chicken broth, onions, carrots, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and pepper. Simmer uncovered for 10 to 15 minutes or until the carrots are soft.  

2. Put the vegetables and broth into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Add the canned pumpkin and evaporated milk. Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes.  

3. Serve topped with sour cream and bacon bits.   

Calories: 125; Protein: 8 g; Carbohydrates: 20g; Fat: 1.5g; (11% of calories)   Saturated Fat: 1g;   Fiber: 3g;   Sodium: 372ml;

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