Monday, February 7, 2011

Savoring--Healthy Comfort Food--Pumpkin Black Bean Soup

We love soup in cold weather, and I recently tried a pumpkin black bean soup recipe from a magazine ad. It said the source is We loved this rich-tasting savory soup and found it a nice change from our usual homemade soup rotation. It also happens to be vegetarian--actually meets vegan standards, I believe--with nutritious black beans as its protein source. This amount made the two of us two dinner meals, one with corn muffins from Jiffy mix & salad and one with grainy bread & fruit (fresh pears and grapes). In the future, I might make more and freeze some or use some for lunches. It is delicious, easy to make, low-fat, and low-cost.
I changed the printed recipe just a little. Instead of pureeing all the beans; I left one can whole because it seemed that the result would be more interesting. I was skeptical of the 4 tablespoons of olive oil called for, but ended up using about 3 because the seasonings went in so early and were sticking to the pot. Also, the final step said to add 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar just before serving. I used 2 tablespoons, which is plenty. Some people might prefer just one tablespoon or none, but it adds a pleasant zing to the flavor. And we had no pumpkin seeds to bake for the garnish--you might like something crunchy on top, but it was yummy without any topping. Some may like a dollop of sour cream on top, which would blend well with the moderately spicy flavor.
3 - 4 Tablespoons olive oil
1/2 to 3/4 cup red or yellow onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon each cinnamon & allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
salt to taste (I use just a dash)
2 cans (16 oz.) black beans, drained and rinsed well
1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes
4 cups vegetable broth
1 can (16 oz.) pumpkin puree
1 - 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
baked pumpkin seeds for garnish (optional)
1. Heat olive oil in large pot (5 quart size or more), add chopped onion and saute 2 minutes on low-medium heat.
2. Add garlic and seasonings and cook until onion softens and browns.
3. Puree one can beans and tomatoes with about a cup of the vegetable broth. Add pureed ingredients, pumpkin, second can of beans (whole), and rest of broth to your pot.
4. Simmer until thick, about 40 - 45 minutes. If soup does not thicken enough, simmer it uncovered for several minutes, stirring occasionally.
5. Before serving, stir in balsamic vinegar. Top each bowl with baked seeds, if desired.
If you try this soup, let me know how you like it. We will definitely have it again.
Question of the day: Can anything beat soup for warming and satisfying us in chilly weather?


  1. Soups and stews, yummy! Personally, I'm a huge fan of blanket and pillow on the couch while I watch tv when I'm cold! LOLOL

  2. Yummy, indeed--and about that blanket and pillow: you have the answer to the deep questions of life right there, Sherry :>).