Ever since Pret A Manger released their Fall menu, I’ve been excited to try their Pumpkin Bisque. It’s a treat for me since I don’t eat lunch out too much and avoid salty soups. But this vegan version using coconut milk (also a treat) was tempting!
One afternoon, feeling a little hungry and hummus-less after my salad, I ran over to Pret for a coffee and snack. I saw one small pumpkin bisque left and analyzed the nutritional content:
Not bad! And I love that they have their nutrition facts clearly labeled both in store and on the app. I can deal with that level of sodium and sugar, especially in a pinch. And check out the fiber content and a little bit of protein. I also added a little bit of leftover tofu and chickpeas as toppings once I got back to the office – and check out this sweet Fall view of Union Square:
It was delicious and I wanted to get it again the following week. But they tend to run out of the small size and the large is too indulgent for me. So I decided to make my own version! My goal was to get it to taste as close to their version as possible, but cut down on the salt, sugar (from apple cider I assume) and fat (coconut milk) – but adding fiber and omegas.
I measure by eye, but here’s the approximate ingredient list I used:
1 can of organic Farmers Market pumpkin
*1-1/2 cups of unsweetened Almond Breeze Vanilla milk
1/4 cup Motts Unsweetened Apple Sauce
1 TBSP Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar
Spices – a few shakes of each, to taste:
Organic Ground Tumeric
Black Peppercorns, ground
Garlic Powder – salt free (if more time, use fresh)
**Onion Powder – salt free
Toppings (optional, but delicious!)
Steamed Organic Sweet Potato / Yam – cubed
Low sodium chickpeas
Extra Firm Organic Tofu
- In a non-stick large saucepan, I combined the base ingredients, starting with the pumpkin and milk. When that begins to simmer, add ingredients one by one and stir.
- Add the spices, to taste. I was particularly heavy on the cinnamon myself.
- Bring to a slow boil and taste.
- *When I tasted my first go, it was a bit thin so be aware of the liquids or cooking long enough to let them evaporate while keeping the flavor.
- **It didn’t taste quite right until I added a few dashes of onion powder. If you have time and resources, adding in sauteed onions and garlic would be great too I think! It’s all according to preference, but I was in a pinch for time and lack of fresh ingredients, so I’m grateful for my spice shelf!
- Let it cool, add your toppings of choice and enjoy!
I was very happy with the result and plan to make this again over the weekend. I paired it with an Engine 2 Kale and White Bean Veggie Burger and spinach salad. Perfect for a rainy or chilly Autumn day – and nutritious too!
I’m eyeing other great squash to use for the season at the Union Square Greenmarket. What’s your favorite?