This weekend was far chillier than I’d expected. I wanted to make something warm and nourishing for dinner, and I knew exactly what I wanted. One of the cookbooks I’d gotten for my birthday is called Soups for Every Body by Joanna Pruess, and it’s exactly that–for everybody. There are a wide range of recipes, and many of them are vegan or vegetarian, or offer that option. They all sound delicious. One of the recipes that caught my eye the most was for a rich-sounding Pumpkin Black Bean Soup, and I had to try it.
Pumpkin Black Bean Soup from Soups for Every Body by Joanna Pruess
- 3 cups cooked black beans or 2 15-oz cans black beans, drained
- 1 cup drained diced canned tomatoes
- 1 cup canned or pureed fresh pumpkin
- 6 oz boiled ham, cut into 1/8-inch cubes (optional)
- 2 1/2-3 cups beef, chicken, or vegetable stock
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups finely chopped onions
- 3 large cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp ground cumin
- salt (2-3 tsp) and freshly ground black pepper [to taste]
- 3-4 tbsp sherry vinegar
- 1/2-3/4 cup medium sherry or white grape juice
- sour cream or plain soy yogurt, to garnish (optional)
- Chili-Crusted Pumpkin Seeds, to garnish (optional)
“1. Combine the beans and tomatoes in a food processor and pulse until the beans have started to smooth out but are still somewhat chunky. Scrape into a saucepan. Stir in the pumpkin, ham, and 2 1/2 cups of stock.
2. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and saute until lightly colored, 8-10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds more. Stir in the cumin, then add to the bean mixture. Stir in the salt, pepper, and vinegar.
3. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat, and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Stir in the 1/2 cup of sherry and taste to adjust the seasonings. Add the remaining stock and sherry, as needed, and reheat, if needed. Serve in large bowls, and top with sour cream or yogurt and Chili-Crusted Pumpkin Seeds, if desired.
As usual, I didn’t follow this recipe in exact detail. Turns out I had cooking sherry, but not sherry vinegar. And my husband has asked me not to cook with alcohol. So I used white grape juice and rice wine vinegar instead. And since I was a little short on broth, I didn’t bother draining the can of tomatoes, but just tossed the whole thing in. I used canned beans and pumpkin and omitted the ham. My broth is vegetable broth, naturally. And I didn’t have soy yogurt or pumpkin seeds, so I omitted them too.
Actually, rather than puree the beans and tomatoes first, I just threw them into the soup and used my immersion blender to make the whole thing into a rough bisque. Watch out for hot splashes of soup! But it did make for less dishes later. My immersion blender was the best present ever–so handy for soups, homemade hummus, etc. If you ever have the opportunity to try one out, do it!
This soup was as delicious as I hoped it would be. I’m sure it would taste great with the optional items included too, but it was great the way it was. My omnivore brother and my husband both said they would eat it again–my husband has requested it! We served it with homemade gluten free vegan cornbread, and they were a great combination. I ate leftovers with corn tortilla chips, and that tasted great as well. This soup is warm and tasty, healthy as well as hearty. Oh, and did I mention easy? Give it a try!