Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Black Bean Pumpkin Soup

Gourmet, November 1996 via Smitten Kitchen
Yield: 9 cups

After what was an unseasonably warm January, the frost is back on the pumpkin and since I failed to make this soup back when the pumpkins were in the patch, I decided to make up for it now that it’s February.  The pumpkin flavor is subtle. It adds color, fiber and nutrients to the soup that makes this a hearty winter soup good for your family.  Be sure to serve it hot with a dollop of sour cream or non-fat plain Greek yogurt and toasted pumpkin seeds.  Those additions really take this delicious meal to a new level and make this soup especially nice for a party.

Three 15 ½ oz. cans black beans (about 4 1/2 cups), rinsed and drained
1 (15 ½ oz.) can drained canned tomatoes, chopped
1 1/4 cups chopped onion
1/2 cup minced shallot (about 2 large shallots)
4 garlic cloves minced
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
4 cups beef broth
One 16-ounce can pumpkin puree (about 1 1/2 cups)
1/2 cup dry Sherry
1/2 pound cooked ham, cut into 1/8-inch dice
3 to 4 tablespoons Sherry vinegar

Garnish: sour cream or plain non-fat Greek yogurt and lightly toasted pumpkin seeds (toast the seeds in a dry skillet until they pop and are browned)

In a food processor coarsely puree beans and tomatoes. **

In a 6-quart heavy kettle cook onion, shallot, garlic, cumin, salt, and pepper in butter over moderate heat, stirring, until onion is softened and beginning to brown. Stir in bean puree. ** Stir in broth, pumpkin, and Sherry until combined and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, 25 minutes, or until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.

Just before serving, add ham and vinegar and simmer soup, stirring, until heated through. Season the soup with salt and pepper.

Serve soup garnished with sour cream or plain yogurt and toasted pumpkin seeds.

**Note: If you have an immersion blender, you can skip the food processor step and blend the soup before adding the ham

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