This creamy pumpkin black bean soup can be made easily from things you probably have in your pantry. It's a hearty soup recipe for busy days that is so satisfying and is made in 30 minutes in one pot. And it's one of the most shared soups recipe on my site. Enjoy!
This is the best soup for fall. It's a super easy bean and pumpkin soup made with pantry items so you can whip up a batch anytime.
All ingredients are readily available at the grocery store and easy to keep in the pantry.
- Black beans: Canned beans made this quick and easy, plus easy to keep on hand. Read labels and choose a low-sodium or no-sodium brand to keep salt low.
- Tomatoes: Canned diced tomatoes are fine here. If all you have is whole, split the tomatoes and scrape out some of the seeds.
- Pumpkin purée: Canned is what I use, get the puree not the pumpkin pie filling. That has added spices not needed in the soup.
- Broth of choice: Chicken, turkey, vegetable, beef, or turkey all work.
- Onion: For a savory depth or flavor, a must have ingredient in soups!
- Garlic cloves: Fresh is best, instead of chopping, great with a microplane zester. Works like a charm for fine fast garlic.
- Ground cumin: For a lightly lemony taste, terrific in Mexican, Southwestern and Mediterranean recipes. One of my can't-live-without spices.
- Paprika: I use smoked paprika, available at all stores. If you don't have it use regular paprika, but the smoked has a lovely flavor. Try it. It work great in chili and in your own dry rubs too.
- Pepper: For heat, use ground chipotle powder, which is dried, ground, smoked jalapeños. Swap red pepper flakes or a little cayenne.
See recipe card for measurements and any other ingredients. For homemade versus canned pumpkin, read how to cook your own pumpkin, from my friend Sally Vargas.
Rinse the black beans with cold water through a strainer, then puree the beans with the tomatoes and half of the broth in a blender or food processor. Next, cook onions and garlic slowly to release their sweetness and flavor. Add spices.
Stir in the bean mixture, the pumpkin, and the rest of the broth. Simmer about 15 minutes. That's it. If you want it extra smooth, blend again, in two batches.
Broth: Homemade or Purchased
Homemade or purchased? Homemade broth is best as you control what goes into it. You control the sodium and skip unnecessary additives. And the taste is better than canned or boxed. Make a big batch and freeze it in smaller containers for soups, stews, and risotto. It's really is worth the effort.
If you don't have time to make broth, check out the freezer section of your market for good frozen broths. There is one organic boxed brand that's pretty good, but it has 310mg of sodium per 1 cup. Whatever you purchase, read the ingredient labels carefully.
Sodium tip - If you use a broth with higher sodium, you may not need to add any salt to season. Taste your soup first.
I use homemade chicken or turkey broth for this soup recipe, but vegetable broth works just as well for a vegan or vegetarian version. I haven't tried it with beef broth but am sure it would work.
If you have an Instant Pot, this chicken broth recipe and the vegetable broth are fast compared to bone broth.
Put out small bowls of grated Jack or Cheddar cheese, toasted or raw pumpkin seeds, sliced green onions or fresh chives, crushed tortilla chips, low fat sour cream, diced avocado, chopped fresh cilantro, and allow everyone to customize their soup.
For a nice finish, try a little dry sherry (optional), Balsamic vinegar, or sherry vinegar.
How to Thaw and Reheat
If its frozen (freezer notes in the recipe FAQ), start the thawing process by putting frozen containers into the refrigerator the day before serving. If it's not totally thawed when you want to reheat, place the container in a large pot or bowl of cold water and change the water every 30 minutes.
When it loosens up enough, pour into a pot and reheat on low heat with a lid. Stir and break up any frozen portions as you go. Heat through to serve.
How 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.
Love pumpkin? Try my pumpkin polenta with poached eggs for a hearty fall breakfast or breakfast-for-dinner option.
A grilled cheese sandwich or a tossed green salad make nice side dishes.
This soup freezes beautifully. I freeze in 3 cup portions in an airtight container (2 servings). A serving is 1 ½ cups per person.
This soup keeps well in the fridge for 4 days so you can make it ahead on the weekend and enjoy during the busy week. Make an extra batch
More Soup Recipes
How to cook your own pumpkin, from my friend Sally Vargas at Cooking Lessons
⭐️Did you Make This?
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Black Bean and Pumpkin Soup
- Large pot
- Strainer to rinse the beans
- Blender, food procesor or immersion blender to puree
- 2 15-ounce cans black beans rinsed and drained
- 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
- 3 cups low sodium broth chicken, turkey, or vegetable
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 3-4 garlic cloves chopped fine
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika or regular
- ½ teaspoon Sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon smoked black pepper or regular
- ¼ teaspoon ground chipotle pepper or more for more heat
- 1 15-ounce canned pumpkin puree not pie mix
- 2 -3 teaspoons Balsamic vinegar
- Grated Jack or Cheddar cheese
- Diced Tomato
- Dollop sour cream
- Chopped green onions and cilantro
- Sliced or mashed avocado
- Crispy tortilla strips make then yourself, see recipe on site
- Add drained beans, tomatoes and half of the broth to a large capacity blender and puree until smooth. If you have a smaller capacity blender do it in two batches.
- In a large saucepan heat olive oil over medium low heat. Add onion and cook until soft and fragrant, 3-5 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute more. Add spices, stir and cook for 1-2 minutes more, until they bloom and you can smell them.
- Stir in black bean-tomato puree, pumpkin, and the rest of the broth. Simmer uncovered until blended and thickened, about 15 minutes. Stir in vinegar and serve. For an extra smooth soup, give it one more whirl in the blender. Top with garnishes of choice.
Carol Brogdon says
I will use less broth and make a dip out of this. Such a cute idea!
How many 1 cup servings does this recipe make?
Sally Cameron says
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.
David N says
I just made this last night and it was amazing! I think I added a bit more pumpkin, but still delicious!
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 says
Hi McKenna. It reheats beautifully! Great make-ahead item to save you time. let me know how it goes! (Ps-love your name)
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 says
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?
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 says
Thanks Lola, one of my favorite soups! For another nice crunch idea try toasted pumpkin seeds
Anna Lee says
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!
Sonja Reynolds says
Great recipe - my entire family loved it (including my 7 month old!)
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).
Could you substitute butternut squash for the pumpkin?
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.
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!
Great soup, made today. I used whole chipotles blended with the beans and tomatoes. Wonderful recipe. Thank you!