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Vegan Pumpkin Soup With Gut Microbiome-Friendly Prebiotics

Vegan Pumpkin Soup With Gut Microbiome-Friendly Prebiotics

Pumpkin soup is the perfect way to get some colour in your life and some microbiome-friendly prebiotics.


Soup is a gloriously comforting dish that is filling and full of delicious prebiotic fibers for your gut bacteria. It’s not just a warming winter dish, it’s a perfect starter in summer, especially if served in a tiny bowl with a sprinkle of fresh parsley.

Pumpkins come in all shapes and sizes so mix it up by Bee Felten-Leidel- Unsplash.
Pumpkins come in all shapes and sizes so mix it up

☝️TIP☝️ Discover the bacteria in your gut with the Atlas Microbiome Test and use the app to track your Eat The Rainbow goals!

Butternut squash nutrition

The bright orange flesh of *Cucurbita maxima*, which includes orange pumpkins and butternut squash, are brimming with micronutrients like vitamins, minerals, and potent antioxidants that keep your body healthy. They’re also a source of important prebiotic fibers that support the healthy bacteria in your gut.
Butternut squash nutrition facts per serving (280g)
Vitamin A 31%
Vitamin B6 5%
Vitamin C 37%
Magnesium 7%
Potassium 8%

A 2013 in-vitro study of how gourds influence gut bacteria showed that eating pumpkin (and other gourd-type vegetables) increased butyrate, an essential short-chain fatty acid (SCFA) that keeps the gut lining healthy. It also increased acetic acid, another SCFA, that helps maintain the right pH for happy bacteria to thrive.

Pumpkin also counts as an orange rainbow food, meaning that it contains important antioxidants and anti-inflammatory molecules, like beta-carotene and carotenoids, that support healthy reproductive functions for men and women.

☝️FACT☝️ Studies show that feeding pumpkin to diabetic rats helped improve glucose tolerance, blood sugar levels, and cholesterol markers.

Calories in butternut squash

Meet kabocha, a delicious relative of the butternut squash by Henry Perks- Unsplash.
Meet kabocha, a delicious relative of the butternut squash

One cup of butternut squash (140g) has just 63 calories. More importantly, it has nearly 3g of fiber, which is essential for digestive health. By turning your pumpkin into soup, you’ll probably be eating much more than 1 cup of pumpkin, which will help you reach the optimal 30g of fiber you need per day.

How to pick a good pumpkin?

Pumpkins come in all shapes and sizes. Some have thick, greenish-yellow skins, others are yellow, and of course, there are those very orange ones too. If you’re eating pumpkin because it’s ‘good for your health’, then choose a variety with bright coloured flesh (rather than white), because it's a sign of higher nutrient content. Don’t buy a pumpkin with soft spots or bruises.

How to store pumpkin

Pumpkins don’t need to be refrigerated. Like potatoes, onions, and garlic, keep them in a dark and dry cupboard and they will keep for ages. You can also chop up your pumpkin, and it will keep for a few days in an airtight container in the fridge if you don’t have time to cook it immediately.

Vegan pumpkin soup recipe

The uglier the pumpkin, the better reason to try it by Patrick Donnelly - Unsplash.
The uglier the pumpkin, the better reason to try it

This healthy pumpkin soup is perfect for work lunch, but it will also cheer you up on a dreary day, or set the scene for a dinner party when served with crunchy sourdough toast.

  • 450g pumpkin (any kind) or butternut squash.
  • 1 large onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 250ml coconut milk
  • 500 ml vegetable broth
  • Turmeric
  • Salt and pepper

Step 1 Dice pumpkin into even cubes, toss in olive oil, salt, pepper, and turmeric. Roast at 180C until soft (about 20–25 minutes).

Step 2 Peel and slice the onion and garlic finely. Cook in olive oil on low heat in a small pan (lid on) so it doesn’t colour, but becomes soft and translucent.

Step 3 Transfer pumpkin, onions, and garlic to a large saucepan. Add coconut milk and vegetable broth, and bring to a simmer.

Step 3 Blend to create a smooth, silky soup. Season with salt, pepper, and about 1 tbsp brown sugar to balance the flavour.

Step 4 Voila, you’re done – pumpkin soup for your belly, your budget, and your vegan friends.

Atlas Biomed Team
Atlas Biomed Team Makers of microbiome, DNA tests and bad puns

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