How to make Vegan Kale And Pumpkin Soup With Orzo
This healthy, Vegan Kale and Pumpkin Soup with Orzo is the perfect soup for the colder autumn and winter months. It’s not just delicious and warming it is also packed with nutrients. If you want to make it gluten-free you can simply replace the orzo pasta with puy lentils. You can read more about the use and benefits of puy lentils in my Puy Lentil and Coriander Pesto Bake with Sweet Potatoes recipe.
Soups and casseroles are great dishes for meal prepping. I always cook a big pot of healthy soup and eat it over two days or freeze it in portion sizes for busy days. Personally, I do like my soups a bit thicker, more like a casserole texture if you know what I mean. To achieve this for my Vegan Kale and Pumpkin Soup with Orzo I split 3/4 of the pumpkin into bigger 1-inch chunks and chopped the remaining 1/4 very finely. This way it will cook much quicker and you can quickly blend it using an immersion blender. When you add the remaining 3/4 of pumpkin afterwards it gives you those nice chunks you can see in the pictures. If you are in a rush or like a thinner soup feel free to omit this step and to reduce your total cooking time by 15 minutes.
Nutritional Benefits of Kale
Just one cup of chopped raw kale provides about: (1)
- 33.5 calories
- 6.7 grams carbohydrates
- 2.2 grams protein
- 0.5 gram fat
- 1.3 grams fibre
- 547 micrograms vitamin K (684 % DV)
- 10,302 IU vitamin A (206 % DV)
- 80.4 milligrams vitamin C (134 % DV)
- 0.5 milligram manganese (26 % DV)
- 0.2 milligram copper (10 % DV)
- 0.2 milligram vitamin B6 (9 % DV)
- 90.5 milligrams calcium (9 % DV)
- 299 milligrams potassium (9 % DV)
- 1.1 milligrams iron (6 % DV)
- 22.8 milligrams magnesium (6 % DV)
- 0.1 milligram thiamine (5 % DV)
- 0.1 milligram riboflavin (5 % DV)
- 19.4 micrograms folate (5 % DV)
- 37.5 milligrams phosphorus (4 % DV)
DV= Daily Value
Kale is rich in several vitamins and minerals but its Vitamin K content stands out particularly. Vitamin K is playing a key role in healthy blood clotting. One serving of kale also contains 121 milligrams of omega-3 fatty acids and 92.4 milligrams of omega-6 fatty acids which is a great ratio of anti-inflammatory compounds towards pro-inflammatory compounds.
Kale has been compared to beef, which is known as a “go-to” food for iron, protein, and calcium. Kale’s anti-inflammatory capabilities are unrivalled among leafy greens, especially relating to the possible prevention and eventual reversal of arthritis, heart disease, and several autoimmune diseases.
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- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium-sized onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 lb (450g) raw pumpkin, peeled, seeded and diced, divided
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
- 4 cups (1L) vegetable stock or water
- ¾ cup orzo pasta, cooked
- 1½ teaspoons fine sea salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 4 cups (150g) shredded kale
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- In a large pot, heat the extra virgin olive oil and add in the onions, saute for about two minutes.
- Add the garlic and cook for another minute, don't leave it much longer or it will become bitter.
- Cut ¾ quarter of the pumpkin into 1-inch dice and finely chop the remaining quarter. Tip the finely chopped pumpkin together with the thyme into the pan and cook for about 3 minutes, this will give the soup a nicer texture. Keep the1-inch-sized cubes for later.
- Pour the vegetable stock or water into the pot, add salt and pepper, cover with a lid and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and let simmer for about 15 minutes. If you like your soup slightly thicker puree it using an immersion blender. (This step can be omitted if you are in a rush.)
- Add remaining pumpkin and simmer for another 15-20 minutes or until the pumpkin has become soft.
- For the last 2 minutes add the kale and red wine vinegar, this way it will keep a slight crunch to it.
- Before serving tip in the cooked orzo pasta and enjoy.