November 24, 2021 by John Fernandez
Healthy Thanksgiving Starter: Caribbean Pumpkin Bisque
An estimated 30 to 40 percent of all cancers can be prevented by lifestyle and dietary measures alone, according to the American Institute for Cancer Research and the World Cancer Research Fund. And more research studies are confirming the link between nutrition and reduced risks of cancer.
Nutrition as a critical component of cancer survival and prevention took center stage when Celebrity Chef Cindy Hutson’s mother was being treated for colon cancer. A culinary ambassador for Miami Cancer Institute, Chef Cindy created dishes for her mom made with fresh and colorful cancer-fighting nutrients. Many of her recipes use in-season fruit and vegetables that are readily available in South Florida.
“The vibrancy, color and flavor of food and how it can help in the healing process became really important to me when my mom’s diet had to change,” said Hutson from her famed Coral Gables restaurant, Ortanique on the Mile. “I like to remind people that, while the ingredients are key, the most important ingredient of cooking is passion, and you have to sprinkle that generously.”
A favorite soup recipe of Chef Cindy’s is a flavorful pumpkin bisque. Made with several cancer-fighting ingredients, it also makes a great addition to the Thanksgiving table.
Caribbean Pumpkin Bisque
Yields 8 servings
- ¼ cup ghee
- 8-10 allspice berries
- 2 cups sliced carrots
- 2 cups vidalia or sweet yellow onion, sliced
- 2 lbs. Calabaza (squash), seeded, peeled and diced (the flesh must be bright orange in color)
- 4 cloves of garlic, chopped
- ½ inch piece fresh ginger, grated
- 1 scotch bonnet pepper (do not burst)
- 6-8 sprigs thyme leaves, stripped off stems
- 2 quarts homemade chicken stock
- Kosher or sea salt to taste
- Pepper to taste
- Heat ghee in large stock pot.
- Add sliced onions, garlic and carrots. Caramelize without burning.
- Add the herbs, allspice, grated ginger and scotch bonnet pepper (do not burst pepper) and stir for 2-3 minutes.
- Add diced Calabaza and chicken stock to cover.
- Bring to a boil, then lower to simmer.
- Simmer for 30 minutes.
- Remove from heat and let cool for 30 minutes.
- Remove whole scotch bonnet pepper and set aside.
- Blend soup in small batches in a blender until smooth.
- Salt and pepper to taste and serve.
- If desired, remove seeds from scotch bonnet pepper, chop and carefully add to soup.
ABOUT CELEBRITY CHEF CINDY
Chef Cindy Hutson is chef-owner of Ortanique on the Mile in Coral Gables. When Ortanique opened 17 years ago, Esquire and Bon Apetit recognized it as a “Best New Restaurant’ and Conde Nast honored it with one of their “Hot Table” concepts award. The culinary empire built by Chef Cindy and life/business partner Delius Shirley began with opening Norma’s on the Beach in Miami in 1994. They recently opened two restaurants named Zest in downtown Miami and at The Cliff Hotel in Negril, Jamaica. Hutson’s first cookbook, From the Tip of My Tongue,” was awarded the 2015 Gourmand World Cookbook Award for “Best Woman Chef Cookbook in the United States.”