Pumpkin & Sweet Potato Soup with Cauliflower Garlic Breadsticks

I was just getting my hopes up that spring would be around the corner and BAM. Winter smacked me in the face with 8 inches of snow. Cold. Dark. Windy. I feel like I’m in Narnia where it’s always winter, but never Christmas. It’s gotten that depressing. It’s gone on that long. Why Germany, why?!?!

It’s not just me imaging it, though. This is actually the gloomiest winter they have had in 43 years, according to the Spiegel online. The average amount of sunshine for winter is already only 160 hours and this year we’ve had about 100 hours less. Coming from North Carolina where the sky is usually Carolina blue, this kinda change is just NOT easy.

Luckily, I had all the ingredients to make this hearty pumpkin soup. Being the squirrel that I am, I bought pumpkins and made puree while they were still in season here and stuck it in my freezer for a rainy, or in this case snowy, day. And with the smell of sweet potatoes and pumpkin filling up your kitchen, it’s hard to be grumpy. Plus, you are doing your body a favour: Sweet potatoes are considered one of the world's healthiest foods. They are good for your cardiovascular health and a rich source of antioxidants and a great source of vitamins (A and especially!), minerals and dietary fiber! See for yourself: sweet potatoe nutrition data. And pumpkins aren't far behind either: They are also packed with vitamin A and fiber (pumpkin nutirition data).

Making soup also gave my a chance to try out my latest idea: Cauliflower breadsticks! And they were everything I wanted them to be and more. Cheesy, melty, crispy and so much better for you since they aren’t smothered in butter and olive oil. If you are interested, but wary about making cauliflower pizza crust, I would try this recipe out first. This way whole meal isn’t riding on whether you like it or not. But I’m betting they will win you over!


Olive oil
1 leek, thinly sliced
1 onion, diced
1 large carrot, peeled and diced
2-inch chunk ginger, peeled and chopped
1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped (approx. 2 cups)
3 cups pumpkin puree of chopped roasted pumpkin
1-2 garlic cloves, pressed
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. curry powder
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper (to taste)
5-6 cups chicken or vegetable  broth (enough to cover vegetables)
2 cups of milk
Coriander or parsley, chopped for garnish

In a large pot on medium heat, sauté the onion, leek and carrot, ginger and garlic with olive oil until soft about 4 minutes. Add spices and stir for a minute. Add pumpkin, sweet potato and broth; blend well. Bring to boil and reduce heat, simmer for 10 to 15 minutes or until vegetables are soft. Use an immersion blender and blend until smooth. Or transfer to a food processor or blender in batches and do the same. Return to pot. Transfer a few cups of soup to a separate pot, add milk while stirring to incorporate, then pour back into large pot. Adjust seasoning to taste. Serve with splash of cream or sour cream and garnish with coriander or parsley.

Cauliflower Garlic Breadsticks!! 
1 medium head cauliflower, grated
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. basil
2 eggs
¼ salt
1 cup mozzarella or gouda
1/2 cup parmesan
1-2 garlic cloves, crushed

Preheat oven to 450F (220C). Fry the cauliflower in a pan on medium heat, stirring frequently until it becomes slightly translucent about 5 minutes. Allow to cool. Use paper towels, cheese cloth or just a regular dish towel ring the excess water out of the cauliflower. The more you ring out, the shorter the baking time and the crispier your crust will be so really get the water out don’t just pat it dry. In a large bowl, combine add the cauliflower, spices and egg. Whisk together until the egg is blended throughout then fold in the shredded cheese. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread mixture out in the shape of pizza you want and press into a crust that is roughly ¾ inch thick on the edges and ½ inch thick in the center. Bake roughly 20 to 25 minutes or until the cheese is bubbling and the crust is golden brown. Allow to cool slightly then cut into slices or tear off into pieces and enjoy!

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