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