Mayan Pumpkin Soup
This recipe for ancient Mayan pumpkin soup comes courtesy of the Legacy Program at the University of Texas at San Antonio’s Center for Archaeological Research, via Archaeology.org. It is prepared with easily-located ingredients, and preparation should be rather simple.
This recipe is a modern adaptation of a traditional and ancient Mayan dish. The people of ancient Mayan civilization, noted for having the only writing system in the Americas before Columbus’ arrival, had a diet that was diverse, especially for their time, due to their advanced technologies in agriculture (among other areas). For example, the Mayans pioneered many farming techniques, and their diets consisted of many grains and starches. The common Mayan diet was centered around corn, and they would cultivate and process it to extract the most nutritional value possible; turkey was the most common meat, and still is with the Mayans today.
- 1 small pumpkin
- 2 tablespoons palm or other neutral oil, like peanut or safflower
- 3 tablespoons honey
- ½ teaspoon ground allspice
- 4 cups turkey broth
- salt to taste
- thinly sliced wild onions or scallions
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Place pumpkin in a baking dish and roast until easily pierced with a knife, about 1 hour.
- Allow pumpkin to cool, slice off top, and scoop out seeds.
- Remove pumpkin fibers from seeds, toss seeds with oil, and salt to taste. Spread out on a baking sheet and return to oven 15 to 20 minutes until crisp and golden. Reserve for garnish.
- Scrape the pumpkin flesh from shell and mash, or puree if a smoother mixture is desired.
- Place the pumpkin in a large saucepan and season with salt, honey, and allspice.
- Gradually stir in enough broth to make soup with thin or thick consistency, as desired.
- Simmer over medium heat about 5 minutes, until hot.
- If desired, serve soup in small pumpkin or squash shells.
- Garnish with onions and pumpkin seeds.