Black Bean Pumpkin Soup

By Sally Cameron on October 16, 2012

beans, legumes & grains, soups, stews & chilies, the daniel plan, vegan, vegetarian,


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 black bean pumpkin soup can be made quickly from things you probably have in your pantry: canned black beans, canned pumpkin, canned tomatoes, onions and chicken or vegetable broth.

black bean pumpkin soup |

Black Bean Pumpkin Soup

Puree the rinsed black beans with the tomatoes and half of the broth in a blender.  Use either chicken, turkey or vegetable broth. Homemade is best, as you control what goes into it, like sodium and unnecessary additives. And the taste is the far better than anything store-bought. Make a big batch and freeze it in smaller containers for soups. Its really is worth the effort.

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). Finish with a little Balsamic vinegar. Heat it up and enjoy.

This soup keeps well in the fridge for a 4 days so you can even make it ahead on the weekend and enjoy during the busy week. Make an extra batch. This soup freezes beautifully.

Black Bean Pumpkin Soup|

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 Savory Spice Shop online or at a local store. Check their website for locations. 

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 Jack or Cheddar cheese, sliced green onions, crushed tortilla chips, low fat sour cream, diced avocado, chopped cilantro, chopped fresh tomatoes and allow everyone to customize their soup with garnishes of choice.

How To Make The Web Design

black bean pumpkin soup | 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. black bean pumpkin 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 pumpkin soup |

Helpful links

How to cook your own pumpkin, from Sally Vargas at Cooking Lessons

Homemade rich turkey broth, vegetable broth, or chicken broth recipes

Black Bean Pumpkin Soup |
Print Recipe

Black Bean and Pumpkin Soup

Smoky flavors plus nutritional powerhouse ingredients of black beans, pumpkin and tomatoes, this hearty soup can be made with things you probably have in your pantry. Better yet, it goes together in just a few minutes. For a vegetarian or vegan version, use homemade vegetable broth.  If you don’t have smoked spices, use regular black pepper and paprika. Optional garnishes make it fun and customizable for everyone. For an extra-smooth soup, puree it again at the end.


  • 2 15- ounce cans organic black beans 425 grams, rinsed and drained
  • 1 15- ounce can diced organic tomatoes 411 grams
  • 3 cups ml) low sodium 710, chicken, turkey, vegetable, organic broth of choice
  • 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 can organic pure pumpkin puree 425 grams, not pie mix
  • 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.


  1. 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.
  2.  In a large saucepan heat olive oil over medium low heat.  Add onion and cook until soft, and fragrant, about 3-5 minutes. Add garlic and 1 minute more.
  3. Add spices, stir and cook for a minute or two, until they bloom and you can smell them.
  4. Stir in black bean-tomato puree, pumpkin, the rest of the broth. Simmer uncovered until blended and thickened, about 15-20 minutes. Stir in vinegar and serve. Top with garnishes of choice, as noted above. For an extra smooth soup, give it one more whirl in the blender.


Leave a Comment
marla | 10/17/2012 at 5:34 am

Such a pretty fall soup Sally!

Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious | 10/17/2012 at 9:46 am

What a gorgeous soup! Will definitely have to try this!

Kate | 10/17/2012 at 10:52 am

Really unique. I like the sounds of black bean and pumpkin together! 🙂

Katie | 10/17/2012 at 11:16 am

What a beautiful photograph!

Alexa | 10/17/2012 at 11:25 am

This looks so good! I am definitely planning on making this with the fresh pumpkin I bought this weekend! I love your site- I’ll be subscribing!

Mary@SiftingFocus | 10/17/2012 at 1:07 pm

Sally, this recipe is my idea of a perfect soup. I’m visiting with my mom for a few days and I know she would love it too. I’m going to make it for her while I’m with her so we both can enjoy it.

sally | 10/17/2012 at 1:20 pm

Thanks Mary! Please let me know how you and she like it. It’s one of my favorites, plus so easy and healthy!

Carys | 10/17/2012 at 1:26 pm

This soup was a hit in our house! I saw your post on the Vita-mix facebook page and once I checked out the recipe I couldn’t get it out of my head so I whipped some up today and it did not disappoint! I added a bit of turmeric and omitted the onion because I don’t eat it. I served it up with left over rice mixed in, sliced avocado, a bit of sour cream and a sprinkle of cheese. We both loved it! Thanks for the recipe! I’ll have to check out your others!

Ryan in Colorado | 10/17/2012 at 1:29 pm

Fantastic soup… the only thing I added (beyond the avocado and the chipotle pepper cheddar) is about a cup or so of almond milk. I tend to like creamier soups and in an effort to stay away from dairy whenever possible, I went with a nut milk. I used my Vitamix and it turned out wonderfully– its a definite keeper!!! The wife loved it too and she is picky about soups!

Cathy Lawdanski | 10/17/2012 at 1:32 pm

Made this for lunch on this cold day. Topped with a 100 calorie pack of Wholly Guacamole. Delicious! I have been trying to incorporate more meatless dishes into our diet. I also do not like plain beans or their texture, so having a bean soup with pureed beans is wonderful!

Betsy @ Anna Nimmity | 10/18/2012 at 4:23 pm

This looks so good! I can’t wait to try it. Thanks!

Michelle | 10/18/2012 at 4:44 pm

This soup looks amazing and delicious! I would love for you to share this at my Creative Thursday link party. I can’t wait to try this recipe. Have a great weekend.

Carol | a cup of mascarpone | 10/22/2012 at 2:46 am

I adore black bean soup and pumpkin based soups, but have never had the two together! Why not? This sounds fabulous! I can’t wait to try it!

Kay Miller | 10/22/2012 at 11:39 am

Love this recipe! And how fun to add the “spider web” design for a festive meal. Need to make a trip to the grocery store today and have added these ingredients to the list. Can’t wait to try the finished product!

Jill | 11/15/2012 at 6:43 am

I came across this recipe on foodgawker and I have to say that I absolutely love it. I put extra chipotle pepper in there and it was just a tad too spicy but it is SO good. Thanks!

Jen | 01/14/2013 at 4:23 pm

Great soup, made today. I used whole chipotles blended with the beans and tomatoes. Wonderful recipe. Thank you!

maureen | 01/15/2013 at 8:52 am

Could you substitute butternut squash for the pumpkin?

    Sally | 01/15/2013 at 9:05 am

    Hi Maureen. I’ve not tried that yet. It will take a bit more time if you want to use fresh squash as it will have to be cooked then pureed. I use organic canned pure pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix). I saw organic pureed canned squash at Whole Foods just yesterday and thought about it! Try it and please comment back on how it came out. It should be good as both have a natural sweetness to them.

      Maureen | 04/25/2013 at 6:52 am

      Hi Sally….I finally made this soup with squash. Thanks for the tip about Whole Foods carrying the organic pureed can of squash. You are right about the natural sweetness. It was delish! Thanks for the recipe and the help tweaking it!

Sonja Reynolds | 09/30/2014 at 10:17 am

Great recipe – my entire family loved it (including my 7 month old!)

Two notes:
I sautéed the spices, then just added the rest of the ingredients.
I used an immersion blender after it was all cooked.

I used fresh (whole) tomatoes, and increased the pumpkin and decreased the beans.
(Doubled the recipe, used 3 cans each of pumpkin and beans).

Anna Lee | 09/30/2014 at 5:02 pm

Just made this and LOVE it! It has a really great taste to it. I couldn’t really taste the pumpkin, which is good for me because I’m not a huge fan. I bet some corn would be a great addition to it!

Lola | 10/17/2016 at 10:41 am

Love black bean soup. This is a easy recipe. Real like the pumpkin added to it. Made a quesadilla to dip into it. Yummy.

    Sally Cameron | 10/17/2016 at 5:29 pm

    Thanks Lola, one of my favorite soups! For another nice crunch idea try toasted pumpkin seeds

Aliza | 01/22/2017 at 2:04 pm

Can you please post what was in the original recipe? I’ve been making it that way for years and I like it better the other way. Thank you!

    Sally Cameron | 01/22/2017 at 2:10 pm

    Hi Aliza. I haven’t changed the recipe. I updated the photography awhile ago, but the ingredients are all the same. I might have updated the method, but I’ve been making it this way for years. What changed for you?

McKenna | 08/22/2017 at 9:44 am

I am planning a dinner party this autumn and would like to serve this soup as a first course. How does it taste reheated? If I prepared it the day before and then warmed it on the stove the day of the dinner party, would it taste the same?

    Sally Cameron | 08/22/2017 at 3:13 pm

    Hi McKenna. It reheats beautifully! Great make-ahead item to save you time. let me know how it goes! (Ps-love your name)

David N | 09/28/2017 at 3:53 am

I just made this last night and it was amazing! I think I added a bit more pumpkin, but still delicious!

sarah | 10/30/2017 at 1:56 pm

How many 1 cup servings does this recipe make?

    Sally Cameron | 11/03/2017 at 4:37 pm

    Hi Sarah, it should be about 6 – 1 cup or 8 ounce servings. I usually portion soup into 12 ounces servings on my recipes. Not sure a 1 – cup serving of this would be enough for a meal unless you add a big salad with some “goodies” like avocado, hemp seeds or toasted pumpkin seeds, etc.

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