In this busy season when days zoom by and temperatures drop, it’s comforting to have an easy, hearty soup recipe in your back pocket. This satisfying soup is two soups in one; black bean soup and pumpkin soup. It can be made quickly from things you probably have in your pantry – canned black beans, canned pumpkin, canned tomatoes, onions and chicken broth. Another benefit – the ingredients are nutritional powerhouses called “superfoods“, so this soup is not just easy and fast, but super healthy.
Easy, Healthy, Fast
Start by pureeing the black beans, tomatoes and half of the chicken broth in a blender. I use a Vitamix for it’s power and capacity. See my tools notes at the end of this post. Cook onions and garlic slowly to release their sweetness and flavor. Add spices. Stir in the bean and tomato puree, pumpkin, the rest of the broth, then a little dry sherry (optional) and finish with a little Balsamic vinegar. Heat it up and enjoy! This soup keeps well in the fridge for a few days, so I often make a larger batch.
Smoked Spices for a Flavor Twist
For a flavor twist, I use smoked spices – smoked paprika, smoked black pepper and smoked salt. If you can’t find them in your area, you can order them from Chef’s Warehouse at this link. If you don’t have smoked spices, make the soup with the regular paprika, black pepper and salt. If you like smoky flavors, try the smoked spices. They work great in chili and to create your own dry rubs too.
Put out small bowls of grated low fat Jack or Cheddar cheese, sliced green onions, crushed tortilla chips, low fat sour cream, diced avocado, chopped cilantro and allow everyone to customize their soup with garnishes of choice.
As it’s a hearty soup, you can enjoy a big bowl on it’s own or a smaller bowl with a grilled cheese sandwich, chicken quesadilla or a tossed green salad for a bigger meal.
To Make The Web Design
To make the fun web design, here’s what to do. Use a thinned combination of low fat sour cream, yogurt, or as I did, a combination of yogurt and a little pumpkin puree thinned with water. It needs to be liquid enough to squeeze out and hold shape, but not too thin so it disappears in the soup.
Use a funnel to pour the “cream” into a small squeeze bottle or plastic zip bag with a tiny corner snipped off. Start in the center and swirl circles outward. Next take a chopstick or something similar and pull streams out from the center to create a web.
Practice on a small plate if you need to. This also works with many other sauces, especially dessert sauces for painting a pretty plate.
Note – this recipe has been updated and re-posted from the original post in December 2010.
Black Bean and Pumpkin Soup
Serves 4-6 (makes 2 quarts)
- 2 15-ounce (425 grams) cans organic black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 15-ounce (411 grams) can diced organic tomatoes, drained
- 3 cups (710) ml) low sodium, organic chicken broth (or use vegetable broth for vegetarian/vegan style)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2-3 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1-2 teaspoons smoked paprika (or regular)
- ½ teaspoon smoked black pepper (or regular)
- ¼ teaspoon ground chipotle pepper, or more for more heat
- Kosher salt, to taste
- 1 15-ounce (425 grams) can organic pure pumpkin puree (not pie mix)
- 2 tablespoons dry sherry (optional)
- 2 -3 teaspoons Balsamic vinegar
Optional garnishes: grated low fat Jack or Cheddar cheese, crumbled queso fresco, diced fresh tomato, sliced green onions or chives, crushed tortilla chips, low fat sour cream, diced avocado, and chopped cilantro.
- Puree beans and tomatoes with half of the chicken broth in a large capacity blender, like a Vitamix. If you have a smaller capacity blender you may need to do it in two batches.
- In a large saucepan heat olive oil over medium low heat. Add onion and garlic and cook until soft, translucent and fragrant.
- Add spices, stir and cook for a minute or two.
- Stir in black bean-tomato puree, pumpkin, broth and sherry (if using). Simmer uncovered until blended and thickened, about 15-2- minutes. Add vinegar and serve. Top with garnishes of choice, as noted above.
Helpful links on related recipes, tools and information:
For a real kitchen “power tool” I use a Vita-Mix blender. Mine has been going strong for more than 12 years. With a 2 quart container and a 1380 watt motor, it powers through soups and smoothies like a pro. Order here and get free shipping
Another great power tool is the Breville Sous Chef Food Processor. Again, great for it’s 16 cup capacity and powerful motor. You can also puree your beans, tomatoes and broth in a food processor if preferred.
Here’s a recipe for spicy, citrusy black beans, from Simply Recipes. A nice side dish for roast chicken or other dishes.
How to cook your own pumpkin, from Sally Vargas at Cooking Lessons
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