Sunday, December 16, 2012

Black Bean Pumpkin Soup

I felt like giving Le Creuset a second spin of the weekend to make another soup.  This way we'll have good eats to tie us through the week and possibly leave some vittles for Wayne for while I'm away for Christmas (I'm not-so-secretly still holding out hope he'll be able to join me in Denver...).  Not that there is anything wrong with his love for toast, but toast for breakfast and dinner for six days straight would be nutritiously monotonous in my opinion, so I would love to leave him alternatives.

I decided to make another dish I'd made before that needed some tweaks.  This one is a pumpkin and black bean soup.  The original recipe has ham in it, and I decided to leave that out.  I also recalled from last time that it was relatively too much bean and too little pumpkin, so I had wanted to add more pumpkin this time.  The finished product tonight was quite delicious, and you could make out the pumpkin, black bean and tomato flavors.  It had a nice complexity, even when served right after making it.  And it was also nice and thick without having to set overnight.  Wayne had three bowls.  Need I say more.

The recipe can be found at:
Good to know before buying ingredients is that I used only 2 cans of black beans, and I used a larger 29 oz can of Libby's pumpkin instead of a 16 oz.  Also, no sherry vinegar.  In addition to the spices listed, I used coriander powder, curry powder and paprika.

So the first trick for this recipe is to use a food processor to do the chopping.  Since you have to use it to puree the black beans and tomatoes and are going to have to clean it, you might as well put it to work for you twice.  You can throw in and chop together the onion, shallots and garlic.  I used a whole medium-sized yellow onion and three good-sized shallots along with the 4 cloves of garlic.

Once all of that plus 1Tbsp of cumin was sauteing in 2 Tbsp of olive oil (I have a raging butter aversion), I wiped out the food processor and pureed two cans (not three) of black beans (from which I had reserved a generous half cup of whole beans), and a cup of chopped tomatoes plus two more tomatoes until it was coarsely pureed.  After the onions et al were browned, I added the 4 cups of beef broth, pumpkin, bean/tomato puree and a little less than a half cup sherry.  I also added 1 tsp each of coriander powder and curry powder and 1/4 tsp of paprika.  I could tell right away when stirring in the pumpkin that it was going to be nice and thick and sufficiently pumpkin-y.  

I simmered for about the recommended 25 minutes, then added the reserved black beans and heated them through.  A little more salt and pepper, and it was ready to serve.  Quite fast and really good.

Highly recommend this one.  It is tasty and really healthy.  Will definitely make it again with these modifications - so glad that I'm writing them down!  :)

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