Pumpkin and Yellow Pepper Soup with Smoked Paprika


1 tablespoon olive oil
3 1/2 cups chopped yellow bell pepper (about 2 large)
1 1/2 cups chopped carrot (about 2 medium)
1 cup chopped onion (about 1 medium)
1/2 teaspoon Spanish smoked paprika
2 garlic cloves, chopped
5 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth, divided
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (15-ounce) can salt-free pumpkin puree (you can use the puree from your cooked Kabocha)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons unsalted pumpkin-seed kernels, toasted
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley


Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat (a large pot will work too). Add bell pepper, carrot, and onion; cook 10 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Add paprika and garlic; saute 1 minute. Add 3 cups broth and black pepper; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Place one-third of vegetable mixture in a blender. Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure blender lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening in blender lid (to avoid spills). Blend until smooth. Pour into a large bowl. Repeat procedure with remaining vegetable mixture.

Return pureed vegetable mixture to Dutch oven; stir in remaining 2 cups broth and pumpkin. Cook over low heat for 10 minutes or until thoroughly heated, stirring frequently. Remove from heat; stir in juice. Ladle 1 cup soup into each of 7 bowls; top each serving with about 1 teaspoon pumpkin seeds and about 1/2 teaspoon parsley. Serve immediately.

Source: Cooking Light magazine