Sunday, October 16, 2011

Sunday Soups: Black Bean Pumpkin

Sometimes life takes over and you forget you have a blog.  I didn't really forget.  It's just been one of those weeks where there's lots to do and no time to reflect.  The only home improvement I've managed recently is buying some mums and a pumpkin for the front porch,
and I realize that's not very exciting.  I'm always drawn to the white ones.  I love all the colors- the oranges and yellows and purples- but there's something about the big puffy white ones that makes me just want to smash my face in them.
Is that weird?  Anyway.  Tonight I put a roasted chicken in the oven with lots of fresh herbs from the garden- sage, rosemary, oregano and thyme- and then I made some soup.

I've made a vegetarian version of this soup using vegetable instead of beef broth and skipping the ham, and it also turns out great.  The pumpkin is subtle, the cumin is not. Your most important tool here is your can opener.  There's not a lot of chopping or fresh ingredients outside of the onions, shallots and garlic, of which there are plenty.  This recipe adds ham at the end, but I use the Trader Joe's 4 oz. package of pancetta and cook it at the beginning with the onions.  It's packed full of flavor, and a great Fall soup.

Black Bean and Pumpkin Soup
from Gourmet Magazine

3 15 ounce cans black beans (about 4 1/2 cups), rinsed and drained
1 cup drained canned tomatoes, chopped
1 1/4 cups chopped onion
1/2 cup minced shallot
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 (I used olive oil with success)
4 cups beef broth
a 16-ounce can pumpkin pureé (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 and coarsely chopped lightly toasted pumpkin seeds

1. In a food processor coarsely pureé beans and tomatoes.

2. In a 6-quart heavy kettle cook onion, shallot, garlic, cumin, salt, and pepper (and pancetta, if you do it my way) in butter (or olive oil) over moderate heat, stirring, until onion is softened and beginning to brown.

3. Stir in bean pureé, then broth, pumpkin, and Sherry until combined and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, 25 minutes, or until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.

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

5. Serve soup garnished with sour cream and toasted pumpkin seeds. If you have them, which I didn't.

It's not much to look at without the garnish, but it tastes good.
Have a great week!

1 comment:

Tortla Dot said...

I always like W-E-I-R-D, ever since those Sesame Street Days, with my favorite nieces! Love your flowers, anyway you like!

Yummy soup - may have the temperature for it this week. After the low pressure system/tornado watches today, we expect to be at 59 (for at least 10 minutes) tomorrow morning. Hooray! Break out the black beans, pumpkins and can openers!