Pumpkin Black Bean Soup

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Pumpkin Black Bean Soup

By Shannon O'Donnell

'Tis the season for all things pumpkin!  And with the nights this week set to get rather chilly, this is a wonderful recipe to help warm your belly.  Delicious, easy and healthy--all my faves!  Serve with some artisan bread and a green salad for the perfect October meal.

PUMPKIN BLACK BEAN SOUP

Ingredients:

  • 8-10 slices of thick bacon, coarsely chopped
  • 2 T butter
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 large shallot, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced (or 4 teaspoon jarred minced garlic)
  • 1/2 cup dry Sherry
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 cups beef broth (as usual, I use 'Better Than Bouillon' brand soup base...it's worth the price!)
  • three 15 ounce cans black beans (about 4 1/2 cups), rinsed and drained
  • 1 15 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • a 16-ounce can pumpkin pureé (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons Sherry vinegar (optional)


Garnish:

  • bacon pieces, sour cream and ightly toasted pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
     

Directions:

1)  Heat large stock pot over medium heat.  Add chopped bacon and cook until crisp, stirring occasionally.  Use slotted spoon to remove bacon, placing on plate covered with a paper towel (to drain).  Remove all but about 2 T of the bacon fat.
2)  Add butter to pot, melting.
3)  Add onion and shallot, stirring occasionally and cooking until softened, about 5 minutes.  Add garlic and cook another minute or two, being careful not to burn.
4)   Stir in Sherry, allowing to cook for another minute or so.
5)   Stir in cumin, salt and pepper.
6)   Add the broth, then the beans, tomatoes and pumpkin puree.  Simmer on medium-low, uncovered, about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
7)  Remove pot from heat, and using an immersion blender (one of my favorite kitchen tools!), puree soup for a minute or two.  You can also (VERY carefully--it's hot!) puree the soup in small batches in your blender, or simply mash the tomatoes and beans before you add them to the soup to get a similar texture.  Basically, you don't want whole black beans floating in a broth...it's more of a lightly pureed consistency that you're going for.
8)  If desired, stir in the Sherry vinegar.  Garnish with bacon, sour cream and pumpkin seeds.

Makes about 8 soup-bowl servings.

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About Shannon

Shannon

When she's not forecasting, Shannon O'Donnell enjoys putting together tasty, season-appropriate meals and goodies for her friends and family.

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