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
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!