With Ramadan coming in the summer this year, the fast lasts for 16 hours every day. What many of you may not know is that Ramadan not only comes with the instructions for fasting but it also comes with instructions for feasting. Muslims are encouraged to start the iftar (the meal when you break your fast ) with some dates. Why dates, you may ask? They are easy to digest. They help ease the stomach into receiving the meal that is coming.Their sugar content helps raise the blood sugar levels that drop during the long fasting hours. Dates are also high in vitamins A and B6, folic acid, potassium, natural sodium, iron, and magnesium. Thus, eating dates daily during Ramadan is like taking a daily multivitamin.
After eating the dates, one is encouraged to go pray before eating the main meal, because this short break gives the body time to metabolize the dates and water that have been consumed and to start the body’s digestive processes, which have been resting all day. Sort of like allowing your car to warm up in the morning before getting on your way.
With dates and praying out-of-the-way, it is time for the main meal. You have been fasting all day, you are hungry but that does not mean that you should over indulge. The guide line is to think of your meal in thirds.Eat enough food to fill one-third of your stomach, drink enough fluids to fill the other third and then leave the last third empty to keep you from getting too full and uncomfortable.
In my home, I try my best to plan the meals to make sure they are refreshing, interesting and full of nutrients. We always start the meal with dates.The next item on the menu is a salad and some soup . In the same spirit as dates. You need something that is easy to digest and rich in nutrients. To keep things interesting I try to serve a variety of soups through out the month.I have a few soup recipes lined up for you but for today I will start with this creamy pumpkin soup.
This pumpkin soup is simple yet very tasty. Silky smooth, creamy with enough spices to keep things interesting without overpowering the pumpkin flavor.
I made this soup with bottle pumpkin ( bottle gourd) but it is equally delicious with regular pumpkin.Use whichever type you prefer, any type will taste great. If you plan on using regular pumpkin my advise is to roast the pumpkin, that will add extra sweetness and a smooky note but more importantly it will save you the trouble of peeling the pumpkin.
If you are not familiar with bottle pumpkin or bottle gourd, it has green skin color, white flesh with white seeds and as the name implies it is shaped like a bottle. Similar to regular pumpkin it is slightly sweet, crisp, and refreshing. Bottle gourd however has a thinner skin that is easier to peel. It is rich in fiber and essential minerals, iron and protein. It is also low in calories. I personally prefer to use it in soups but it can also be juiced, stuffed or made into desserts.
I served this soup with Sally’s tomato and rosemary sourdough bread. It has become a family favorite. The herbal note with the slight tang were perfect with the creamy soup.
1 kg pumpkin peeled and cut into cubes
300 g carrot peeled and cut into cubes
300 g potatoes peeled and cut into cubes
1 onion chopped
2 cloves garlic minced
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups water or stock
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon cardamom
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
200 ml cream
Heat the olive oil in the pot, add the onions and stir for 3-5 minutes until they are soft.
Add the pumpkin, potatoes and carrots and stir for 5-7 minutes
Add the garlic and stir for 2-3 more minutes
Add the salt and spices followed by the water or stock and cook until the vegetables are cooked through
Puree the soup in the food processor or using an immersion blender
Add the cream and stir to combine
Serve decorated with cream and some parsley
كيلوغرام قرع أحمر
ثلاثمئه غرام جزر
ثلاثمئه غرام بطاطا
ثلاث ملاعق كبيره زيت زيتون
ملعقة صغيرة ملح
لتر مرق دجاج
ربع ملعقه هيل
ربع ملعقه فلفل اسود
ربع ملعقه قرفه
كوب كريما طبخ
يقشر القرع وينظف ثم يقطع قطع صغيرة
يوضع الزيت في قدر على النار ويضاف عليه القرع الأحمر و الجزر و البطاطا ويقلى لمده 5-7 دقائق
يضاف الثوم ويقلى الكل على نار هادئة لمدة دقيقتين مع التحريك
تضاف البهارات و الملح
يضاف المرق ويغطى القدر ويترك على نار هادئة حتى ينضج
يطحن الخليط وتضاف الكريما
يزين بالبقدونس ويقدم
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