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Thanksgiving Recipe Makeovers: Pumpkin bisque

The Thanksgiving holiday is fast approaching in North America. Not only is it a day to reflect on our blessings and spend time with family and friends, it is also a time to enjoy a meal together. Unfortunately, the Thanksgiving classics include heavy casseroles, turkey and gravy, potatoes and pie — not quite the picture of health.

Even those of us dedicated to a nutritious diet can find it difficult to say no to typical dishes this time of year. It can be challenging to stick to a nutrition plan around the holidays. But at Hope4Cancer, we believe the Thanksgiving table can be full of delicious and nutritious options! This month, we are featuring Thanksgiving recipe “makeovers,” which include traditional ingredients prepared in healthy ways.

This pumpkin bisque features seasonal flavors and nutritious ingredients. A “bisque” refers to a smooth, creamy soup — and this pumpkin bisque is smooth and creamy while still healthy. Both sweet and savory, it will be a welcome addition to the Thanksgiving spread.

Pumpkin — real, raw pumpkin and not of the artificial “pumpkin spice” variety! — is low in fat, cholesterol and sodium. It is also a great source of Vitamins A, C and E, plus fiber, magnesium and iron.

This bisque also prominently features garlic and onions. These superpower ingredients are both allium vegetables, which are great sources of antioxidants. Allium, in fact, is derived from the Greek word for garlic. Shallots, leeks, and chives are also members of the allium family. These vegetables are high in beneficial sulfur compounds, which gives them their distinctive flavor and aroma.

Pumpkin is typically easy to find in grocery stores during the autumn season. But if you’re enjoying this bisque another time of year, feel free to substitute an equal amount of butternut squash or sweet potato. Simply peel, chop and then steam the sweet potato or squash until tender. With its classic flavors and rich texture, this nutritious bisque will surely be a popular option at your Thanksgiving meal!

Thanksgiving Recipe Makeovers: Pumpkin bisque

Serves four


  • 2 cups pumpkin, butternut squash or sweet potato
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 cup white onions, diced
  • 3 1/2 cups organic vegetable stock
  • 5 cloves roasted garlic
  • 1/4 cup unfiltered apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons raw maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • Cracked black pepper, to taste
  • Toasted pumpkin seeds for garnish (optional)
  • Pumpkin seed oil for garnish (optional)


  1. Steam the pumpkin or squash until tender.
  2. Sauté onions over medium heat in coconut oil until translucent.
  3. Using a high-speed blender, combine pumpkin, onions, stock, garlic, vinegar, maple syrup and spices. Blend until smooth.
  4. Warm soup in saucepan. Serve hot, garnished with pumpkin seeds and a drizzle of pumpkin seed oil if desired.

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