Saturday, December 10, 2022

Pumpkin and Black Bean Soup

We are fully into soup season! This spicy, smoky Pumpkin and Black Bean Soup is the perfect way to use up leftover pumpkin and is hearty without cream.

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 Even though we've only had a brief dusting of snow here (which is long gone), the weather is brisk enough to run a chill up your spine. When I come in from errands or the gym, the only thing I want is something warm and filling - and this soup fits that bill perfectly!

Having stashed pucks of pumpkin puree left over from Halloween pumpkins (not the carved ones, mind you!) I had a jumping off point to work with. I wanted to make something spicy and smooth, but not heavy and rich with butter or cream. I saw a few recipes online about adding white beans to soup to make it creamier, which sounded like a solid plan - however, I only had black beans in the pantry and I was not about to go shopping again. 

That said, the black beans started me thinking about more smoky-spicy flavours, so I started putting together a spice blend with some of the offerings from Selefina Spices (they are my go-to now for fresh spices, and their sister companies Lardera Coffee and Adagio Teas provide me with all the hot and cold drinks I could want throughout the day). 

A quick deep dive of the freezer netted me bags of cherry tomatoes and zucchini as well, so in they went with vegetable stock, a diced onion and lots of garlic. An hour of slowly simmering brought the garlic to a mellow note throughout the mix, and it only took a short blitz with my immersion blender to bring everything to the perfect texture. Right out of the pot, it was up-front and personal with the smoky spiciness (which I love personally) and after sitting in the fridge overnight the flavours continued to blend, toning it down just a little bit. Paired with crusty bread, it was a perfect meal for the week.

Pumpkin and Black Bean Soup

Serves 10
3 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp smoked paprika
1 tsp sweet paprika
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tbsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tsp salt (you may need more to taste)
6-7 cups unsalted vegetable broth
3 cups pumpkin puree
3 medium zucchini, chopped (about 4 cups)
2 cups diced or cherry tomatoes (canned or fresh)
2 (15 oz) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  1. In a large pot (I used a cast-iron Dutch oven), heat the oil until shimmering.
  2. Add the onions, reduce the heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until they begin to caramelize (about 20 minutes)
  3. Add the garlic and spices and cook, stirring, for 1-2 minutes.
  4. Add the salt, broth, pumpkin, zucchini, and tomatoes.
  5. Bring to a boil, stirring well, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes.
  6. Add the beans, stir and cook, uncovered, for 30 more minutes or until all the tomatoes and zucchini have fallen apart
  7. Using an immersion blender (or in batches with a regular blender, being very careful!), puree the soup until as smooth as you wish.
  8. Serve immediately or store in the fridge up to 1 week, or in the freezer up to 3 months. 

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