Articles & Recipes

Caribbean Pumpkin Soup (diabetes-friendly)

February 26, 2019

'I love pumpkin soup and have tried many variations during my travels in the Caribbean. This version is based on a traditional recipe given to me by a lady from Antigua. I removed the potatoes to reduce the carbohydrate and the seasoning salt to reduce the sodium. The soup is meant to have a kick, so add more cayenne pepper if you wish.' -Sobia Khan

Ingredients Makes 7 servings

1 tbsp vegetable oil 15 mL
1 cup chopped onion 250 mL
1 cup finely chopped green cabbage 250 mL
1⁄2 cup finely chopped celery 125 mL
2 bay leaves 2
2 lbs Caribbean pumpkin, cut into 1-inch (2.5 cm) cubes 1 kg
4 cloves garlic, minced 4
1 tsp finely chopped fresh thyme 5 mL
1⁄8 tsp cayenne pepper 0.5 mL
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley 15 mL
1 tsp salt 5 mL
1⁄4 tsp freshly ground black pepper 1 mL
5 cups water 1.25 L


  • Preparation time: 30 minutes
  • Cooking time: 50 minutes
  • Blender, food processor or immersion blender
  1. In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, cabbage, celery and bay leaves; cook, stirring, for about 5 minutes or until vegetables are softened. Add pumpkin, garlic, thyme and cayenne; cook, stirring, for 3 minutes.
  2. Stir in parsley, salt, black pepper and water; bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Discard bay leaves.
  3. Working in batches, transfer soup to blender (or use immersion blender in pot) and purée to desired consistency (see tip). Return to pot, if necessary, and reheat over medium heat, stirring often, until steaming.
Caribbean pumpkin, also known as calabaza or Jamaican pumpkin, is a variety of tropical squash used widely in Caribbean and Latin American cuisine. It is a dense, bright orange pumpkin with a smooth texture and intense, sweet flavor. Pumpkin is an excellent source of beta carotene. If you cannot find Caribbean pumpkin, substitute butternut squash. When blending hot liquids in an upright blender, fill the blender no more than half full, leave the center hole in the lid open and cover the hole with a towel. Hold down the towel and the lid while the blender is running, allowing steam to be released.


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