It was cold enough this morning for there to be frost on the north facing roofs...and probably the pumpkins, too. Haven't gotten my pumpkins this year. SO many things to do and so little time is how it feels. Still, I'm VERY glad it is fall...my favorite season.
One of the nice things about cooler weather is that soup begins to show up frequently on my menu planner...especially for lunches. Last weekend I used up the canned pumpkin left after making the yummy Cake Slice pumpkin chocolate chip loaf cake. At first I was tempted to make some thing sweet with it like muffins or waffles. Fortunately for my waistline I finished cleaning the fridge out at lunch time. Surely I could make a nice lunch using the canned pumpkin (about 3/4 cup of it)? Soup seemed just the thing since it was raining like crazy outside and I believe that rainy weather goes well with soup any day.
What I created is pretty simple but really warm and comforting soup. It has some onions, some pumpkin, some spinach and some chicken broth (although veggie broth works, too), some pre-cooked brown rice plus salt and pepper. Thats it, and yet I feel that it beats any canned soup hands down. Dig in to a bowl and see for yourself!
Pumpkin Spinach and Rice Soup
1/2 yellow onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil or grapeseed oil
3/4 to 1 cup canned pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
1 cup cooked, chopped spinach, drained (I used chopped frozen spinach but fresh is even better)
1 cup already cooked brown rice (or you can use white rice)
2 cups rich chicken stock or canned chicken broth or vegetable broth
Salt and pepper to taste
Optional garnish: Parmesan cheese, grated
In a medium saucepan, saute' the onion in the oil until transluscent, about 5 minutes.
Add the canned pumpkin, chopped spinach and rice and mix to combine.
Add the chicken stock or broth (I often use canned broth for quick soups. I try to use the low sodium and low fat versions.) Stir to combine all ingredients and heat over medium heat until heated through.
Taste for seasonings and adjust to taste with salt and pepper.
Ladle into bowls and enjoy while hot. If desired, sprinkle with about 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese. (Still too bland? Add a few dashes of hot sauce or a pinch of cayenne pepper or chipotle powder.)