Blessed greetings to you! I pray that you are well as you read this and that those of you in continental climate zones, like me, are keeping warm as the temperatures begin to dip. When it's chilly out, few things make me happier and warm me up faster than a nice bowl of soup. Soups are tasty, filling and easy to make! And while canned soups can contain a lot of sodium and preservatives,  by making soup yourself you can keep it pretty healthy and low-sodium.

I tried my hand at making a pumkin & potato bisque the other day after a fun afternoon carving pumpkins with my neighbors (I carved an Esu face into mine, he's standing guard outside *smile*). To my delight, it came out wonderfully. I also made some delicious roasted pumpkin seeds. The recipes for both are below.

I know that many people, particularly children of Osun, have pumpkin as an eewo (taboo) but no worries -- the bisque can be made with sweet potato! I'm going to try that next time. I have to tell you, I cook like a real African woman which means I tend not to measure anything unless I'm following someone else's recipe so consider these measurements approximate. Feel free to alter them to your taste! Also, I used half-and-half and butter in this recipe, but if you're vegan, you could likely substitute a non-dairy milk and maybe coconut oil to replace the butter.

Remember, Ifá says "a hungry man never rushes to eat hot soup" -- and for good reason! So, be careful and enjoy!

~ Funlayo

Roasted Pumpkin & Potato Bisque

Pulp and about 2 cups of rind (without skin) of one large pumpkin, most seeds removed

OR 8 large sweet potatoes, washed, skin on

2 large white potatoes, washed skin on

1 large onion, skin removed

5 Tablespoons canola oil, divided

3/4 cup half-and-half

3 cups water

1 Tablespoon butter

1 Tablespoon salt

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 Tablespoon maple syrup

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

1 drop vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut pumpkin rind (or sweet potatoes), potato and onion into medium pieces. Coat the bottom of a large baking dish with half of the oil. Place cut vegetables and pulp into dish and drizzle remaining oil on top. Bake for about 45 minutes or until very tender, do not drain the liquid that forms. Mix the water and half-and-half together. Using a blender, puree the vegetables and liquid together, using the water/half-and-half mixture to thin as needed. It will probably take about 3 batches to blend all the vegetables; after blending, transfer the puree to a large soup pot. Once all the puree is in the pot, heat on medium heat until hot, adding all remaining ingredients as the soup heats. It should be thick, but if it seems too thick, a bit more water or cream may be added.

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Fresh, raw pumpkin seeds

Butter (about 1 teaspoon per cup of seeds)


Garlic powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Rinse all pulp from seeds and drain. Melt butter in a saucepan, stir seeds with butter until coated. Spread seeds in a single layer on a cookie sheet, sprinkle with salt and garlic powder. Bake until golden brown.