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Peppered Pumpkin and Potato Ragout

The leaves may off the trees, but there's still time to enjoy fall's favorite fruit (yep, pumpkin is a fruit). This savory soup is buttery, earthy, sweet and subtly spicy. And it's packed with vitamins and immune boosters to protect against colds and flu. Serve with a light salad and some crusty bread and you've got a healthy, hearty, downright delectable meal.


INGREDIENTS

- 1 T olive oil - 1/2 C chopped onion - 2 cloves garlic, minced - 2 C cubed fresh pumpkin - 1 C cubed potato, unpeeled (Yukon Golds are best, but any type works) - 1/2 t salt 1 t freshly ground black pepper - 1/2 t crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste - 1/2 t ground white pepper - 3 C vegetable stock or canned broth - 1 C peas, fresh or frozen, thawed


INSTRUCTIONS

1. In large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring often, until onion is soft, about 5 minutes.

2. Add pumpkin, potato, salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes and white pepper, and toss to coat with oil. Stir in stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until pumpkin and potato are tender, about 20 minutes.

3. Add peas and cook just until peas are tender, about 5 minutes. Serve hot.


Nutritional Information Per serving: Calories: 156, Protein: 6g, Total fat: 4g, Saturated fat: 1g, Carbs: 27g, Cholesterol: mg, Sodium: 80mg, Fiber: 5g Makes 4 Servings.


Three Health Benefits of Pumpkin


Sharper vision - Pumpkin is loaded with beta-carotene, which converts to vitamin A in the body and is essential for eye health. A single cup of pumpkin will yield over 200% of the standard RDA of vitamin A - great news for your optical health!

Pumpkin also contains lutein and zeaxanthin, two antioxidants that are thought to help prevent cataracts, and slow the development of macular degeneration.

Better immunity - The large shot of vitamin A that pumpkin provides helps fight off infections and viruses. One serving of pumpkin also contains almost 20% of the RDA for vitamin C, which will help you fend off colds.

Lower cancer risk - According to the National Cancer Institute, beta-carotene may play a role in cancer prevention. Research shows people who eat a beta-carotene-rich diet may have a lower risk of some types of cancer, including prostate and lung cancer. And vitamins A and C are antioxidants that protect against cancer-causing free radicals.

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