Naptime isn’t going as planned today.  My children continue to teach me that clinging to control is futile. For the last 90 minutes, Patrick has been wavering between moaning, baby chatting, and crying. While I could go up and rescue that rebel napper, I think I am just going to make soup. At least I can use my immersion blender to drown out drones, and pray that he eventually slumbers to sleep.

I found recipe inspiration in this week’s CSA fairshare grocery goodies. This week we received a whole pumpkin, a plethora of sweet potatoes, and one dried chipotle pepper. Since Halloween is long gone, I figured I must transform this prospective jack-o-lantern into something more than a decoration.


Pumpkin & Sweet Potato Chipotle Soup

Serves 4: ~1.5 cup servings 


  • 1 small whole pumpkin
  • 1 large sweet potato, diced small
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 3 gloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bay leaf, dried
  • 1 t. cumin powder
  • 1 t. garlic powder
  • 1 t. chili powder
  • 1 dried chipotle pepper
  • 1 T. maple syrup
  • 1 t. salt
  • 32 oz. chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 1 t. coconut oil
  • ¼ cup half and half
  • Roasted pumpkin seeds for garnish


Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Poke your pumpkin with a fork (cathartic cooking when child is not napping). Place pumpkin on a baking sheet and cook for one hour.

While pumpkin cooks, warm 1 T. olive oil plus 1 tsp. coconut oil in large sauté pan.  Sauté chopped onion and garlic, until translucent.  Add diced sweet potato and continue to cook for 10 minutes. Add 32 oz. of broth, bay leaf, cumin powder, garlic powder, chipotle pepper, and maple syrup.  Cook on low to medium heat and simmer until pumpkin is baked.  (This is your opportunity to multi-task ie: wash dishes, turn off distracting baby monitor, brush your teeth).

Once pumpkin is cooked and cooled slightly, slice pumpkin in half and scoop out seeds.  If you are supermom, save the seeds and roast them to garnish the soup, I pressed the easy button, and used store-bought.  With a spoon, scoop out all pumpkin pulp and put into soup mixture. Continue to cook 10 minutes longer.

Discard bay leaf and chipotle pepper. Use an immersion blender, blender or food processor and puree soup.  Stir in half and half and top with pumpkin seeds.


The use of chipotle was very subtle. Dial up the heat if you plan on feeding adult-mouths only.

Pumpkin: Could substitute two cans of pumpkin for one small pumpkin

Grumpy nap fighter – maybe I should have laced his bottle with the background beverages…

Jennifer McDaniel

Jennifer McDaniel is a Registered Dietitian, Media Spokesperson, and co-author of Prevention's Mediterranean Table Cookbook. She and her team of Registered Dietitians aim to help their clients go further, make change last, and unlock their potential. She lives in St. Louis, MO with her husband, and three young sons. If you are interested in working with Jennifer, please visit our contact page.