Thanksgiving signals the beginning of family get-togethers and holiday parties, and along with it a lot mindless grazing and stress eating that can pack on the pounds.  Statistics suggest that the average person gains between 2-5 lbs. over the holiday period. I know when I deprive myself completely I just end up being both grumpy and obsessed with all the goodies I can’t or won’t allow myself to eat, so I’m a firm believer in sensible indulgence.

Family get togethers and holiday parties

Family get togethers and holiday parties

I like to be realistic. Trying to lose weight this time of year is particularly difficult when celebrations and temptations abound, so I set my goal at maintaining my current weight, and consider that a victory when I do. I let myself enjoy the season, but I don’t treat the 5-6 weeks between Thanksgiving and  New Years as  an excuse to be rampantly gluttonous.

Learn how to navigate holiday buffets

Learn my 10 Commandments for Healthy Holiday Eating

Last year I wrote my 10 Commandments for Healthy Holiday Eating (please click on the link to read my tips on how to avoid overindulging during your holiday festivities). I wish you all a wonderful Thanksgiving, and hope this will help you stay on track while enjoying my Easy Pumpkin-Pear Soup recipe below!

Easy Pumpkin-Pear Soup served in it's own shells

Easy Pumpkin-Pear Soup

Starting your meal with a hot, non cream-based soup can also be your ally in the battle of the bulge. Not only is it high in nutrients and fiber, the heat will help fill you up so you’re less likely to overindulge on the other goodies. The festive presentation in small, scooped out pumpkin serves the duo purpose of letting your guests discover the treat inside while keeping the heat in (when serving with the lid on).

Servings: 4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients

Easy Pumpkin-Pear Soup

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion finely chopped
  • 1 large shallot finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 large sweet potato peeled and chopped
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 Bosc or Bartlett pear peeled, cored and chopped
  • 30 ounces canned pumpkin puree
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • fresh Italian parsley or cilantro chopped for garnish (optional)
  • pumpkin seeds toasted for garnish (optional)

Directions

Easy Pumpkin-Pear Soup

  1. Melt the butter a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the oil, onions and shallots, cook until softened, 6-8 minutes. Add curry powder and cumin, stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the sweet potato and stir to coat well. Stir in chicken or vegetable broth. Cover, bring to boil, lower heat to simmer, covered, 15-20 minutes, or until sweet potato is tender.
  2. Stir in pear and pumpkin puree, season to taste, and simmer for an additional 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat.
  3. Working carefully in batches (do not fill blender more than half full, and place a kitchen towel over the top for protection from the heat), or using a hand blender, puree the soup to a smooth, velvety consistency. If it is too thick, add some more broth or water to thin it out as desired.
  4. Return to pan to heat through over medium-low heat, ladle into bowls (or cleaned out pumpkins), garnish as desired, and serve hot.

Serving Suggestions

Serve with some nice crusty bread.

Heat To Eat

Vent lid of container and heat 3-5 minutes, stirring midway to distribute heat evenly; or heat in a large saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally until heated through and brought to boil, about 12-15 minutes.

Variations

Play around with different herbs and spices to suit your taste and/or to compliment your main course. Add some rinsed and drained black beans to turn this into a filling main course.

Notes

Carefully cut a wide circle around the top of the pumpkin, slicing at an angle as you go. Once you carefully remove the top, clean out the seeds (savings some for garnish if desired) and pulp. I like to use my grapefruit spoon on these little pumpkins, because I can manipulate it around inside easily and the serrated edge helps cut away the bits I no longer want.

Tatjana and Julie Anne Rhodes

Tatjana and Julie Anne Rhodes

TIP:  Of course, keeping healthy meals readily available with the Personal Chef Approach can also help you lose any excess weight you do happen to gain, so be sure to lock-in 2013 prices through 2014 by purchasing a yearly membership now. Watch the video below for more about how it works.

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  • December 8, 2013
    5:28 pm

    Too cool! I loved LOVED Nick Rhodes and cried when he got married (for 2 days-hey, I was 14!). Now that I’m old (40-something) and married I, no longer resent you. I love to cook and your site looks wonderful.