Food therapy: orange-flavoured pumpkin soup with cilantro pesto

My friend Olive, living in Los Angeles but coming from Korea, is a big foodie just like myself. When we met for brunch lately she became excited about the food and exclaimed: “This is food therapy!” I loved hearing that, not only because the brunch took place at our house but because that’s a phrase I would love to shout out every time I’m eating something. Hippokrates said: “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”. And even if  the expression “medicine” doesn’t sound like much fun there is still something true about it. What is this food like that seems to be our best medicine? In my definition it should be delicious, fresh and colorful. Just like this soup that I was cooking today. If I wanted to write a list of effects that soup had on me I would list the following: mood-lifting, satisfying, nerve-calming. Please give it a try and and tell me about effects and side-effects it has on you!

Ingredients (serves 4):


  • 1 large Red Kuri Pumpkin (Hokkaido Kuerbis), cut into pieces
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • Juice and zest of one organic, untreated orange
  • 3 tablespoons Cointreau (Orange Liqueur) – optional
  • salt and fresh-ground pepper, to taste
Cilantro pesto:
  • 1 bunch cilantro (about 1 – 1,5 cups)
  • 0,5 cups cashews
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • salt and  fresh-ground pepper, to taste
Heat a medium saucepan over high heat. Add the olive oil, onion and pumpkin pieces and roast gently for about 3 minutes. Add the stock and bring to boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 20 minutes or until the pumpkin pieces are tender. In the meantime put all ingredients for the cilantro pesto in a blender or food processor and puree them. Set aside. Use a food processor or blender to blend the soup until smooth. Give it back into the saucepan and add the orange juice, orange zest, Cointreau and salt and pepper. Add some broth until the soup has got your favorite consistency. Fill the soup into bowls and sprinkle with some cilantro pesto.

By the way, why don’t you make a double badge of pesto and use it for your next meal: pasta!


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