Pumpkin and Bean Soup

This Ayurvedic-Mediterranean soup affords us the cancer-fighting carotenoids of pumpkin, the blood sugar and cholesterol-lowering benefits of fiber and amazing antioxidant flavonoids of sage. If you smoke or are exposed to cigarette smoke, eat plenty of pumpkin for the carotenoids that help prevent lung cancer.


2 cups dried cannelini beans (original recipe calls for borlotti beans, which we couldn't source)
1 pie pumpkin (about 2 lb) seeded, peeled and cubed
4-5 red potatoes, cubed (we never peel potatoes as the iron is in the peel)
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, chopped
10 fresh sage leaves
1 celery stalk, sliced


  1. Soak beans overnight, rinse and drain in morning.

  2. Cook in pressure cooker for one hour.

  3. Take off pressure, add pumpkin and potatoes and cook for a couple of hours, until very tender.

  4. Mash the potatoes a bit with a fork to thicken the soup.

  5. Add salt and pepper to taste.

  6. Meanwhile, fry the garlic, celery and sage in olive oil until they turn golden.

  7. Add to the soup and stir in well.

  8. Sage adds agni kindling properties to this recipe.

Recipe adapted from Italian Vegetarian Cooking by Emmanuela Stucchi, Pavilion Books, London.

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Alakananda Ma M.B., B.S. (Lond.) is an Ayurvedic Doctor (NAMA) and graduate of a top London medical school. She is co-founder of Alandi Ayurveda Clinic and Alandi Ayurveda Gurukula in Boulder Colorado, as well as a spiritual mother, teacher, flower essence maker and storyteller. Alakananda is a well known and highly respected practitioner in the Ayurveda community both nationally and internationally.

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