Saturday, February 26, 2011

Pumpkin Black Bean Soup

I adapted this recipe from one I found in a Thanksgiving Cookbook some years ago.  The original recipe called for Pumpkin Pie spices.  With Black Beans being a key ingredient, I went SouthWest instead.  Top this with Sour Cream, Avocado Slices and Shredded Cheese, and you have a very hearty soup for dinner!

This thick, rich soup is delicious on a chilly fall day or a perfect accompaniment to your holiday turkey – especially if you or someone you love is a vegetarian.

3 cans (43.5 ounces) black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes
1 can (16 ounces) pumpkin puree
1/2 cup red onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 Tbs olive oil
4 cups vegetable broth
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground pepper
3 Tbs ground cumin
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp chili powder
3 Tbs balsamic vinegar
Baked pumpkin seeds, for garnish (optional)

1. Place oil, shallot or red onion, garlic, cumin, salt, pepper, cinnamon and allspice into a large pot and cook on low-medium heat until the shallot or red onion and garlic begin to brown.

2. Using a food processor, puree the beans and tomatoes with half of the vegetable broth. Add the pureed beans, tomatoes, pumpkin and the rest of the broth to the pot.

3. Simmer the mixture uncovered until thick, about 40-45 minutes. Before serving, stir in the balsamic vinegar. Garnish with baked pumpkin seeds.  Personally, I throw in a little Sour Cream, maybe shredded cheese and a big hunk of bread on the side!

Servings: 6

Tip: You can add less vegetable broth to create a thicker soup and substitute 1/2 stick of margarine for oil, if preferred.

Tip: Use an emersion blender to simplify the process. You can puree the ingredients together inside the pot you’re using to cook the soup, instead of using the food processor.