Black Bean Soup

blackbeanpumpkinsoup

I specifically go to Paradise Bakery, owned by Panera, on Tuesdays because they have black bean soup.  So, I was excited to find a black bean soup favorite soup with a hidden twist.  The smokiness of the black beans and cumin pair well with the sweetness of the pumpkin puree.  Neither flavor is suppressed creating a sweet and savory dish perfect for those cold fall and winter nights.

I recommend making the soup with fresh pumpkin.  Canned pumpkin has added preservatives that change the flavor profiles.  The squash and pumpkin allow for a creamy texture in the soup.  Adding nutmeg creates a sweeter soup; adding jalapenos or adobe chilies creates a spicy soup; adding sour cream on top of the finished product creates a cooling element to the soup.
Photo from Julia

Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  1. I used homemade pumpkin puree since I pretend to live in fall year round, but the recipe works with butternut squash as well.blackbeanpumpkinsoup2
  2. Be sure to have a food processor.  I had a hand one that worked well, but it left a few chunks.
  3. Use vegetable broth for vegetarians.
  4. Use fire-roasted tomatoes for an extra, southwest flavor blast.
  5. I nixed the shallots because it was difficult to find them at the grocery store.  In place of shallots, substitute extra garlic and onion.
  6. Replace the butter with pam to sweat the onions and bringing out the sweetness.  I suggest using red onions because they are sweeter.
  7. The cumin provides a smoky and spicy flavor reminiscent of many Southwest dishes.
  8. I suggest simmering the soup for only 15 minutes or until it becomes thick.  You do not want to overcook the soup and pumpkin.
  9. Homemade pumpkin will create that soft orange color lightly darkened by the beans
    and tomatoes.
  10. I suggest adding the rest of the black beans from the can into the soup because I enjoy chunky soups.

blackbeanpumpkinsoup3The black bean and pumpkin soup combines my two favorite flavors.  I am obsessed with pumpkin, making everyday fall.  I love that this soup can be made and frozen for a day I need a warm pick-up.  A spicy kick and a sweet ending blend the flavors of fall and the southwest.  Be a cowboy in the kitchen!

Leave a comment with your favorite pumpkin recipes.  Follow my Pinterest for more recipes.  Check back again next Wednesday for more tips and tricks from The Cooking Bug.

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