Pumpkin and Black Bean Soup

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PUMPKIN AND BLACK BEAN SOUP - a super-healthy, stick-to-your-ribs, vegan soup that's easy to customize. The big-batch recipe only gets better with age, making leftovers a real treat!

This super-healthy, stick-to-your-ribs, vegan soup is easy to customize and makes a big batch - perfect for easy dinners and packable lunches all week long. Freezes well, too!

 

 

First, I must tell you that my husband does not care for pumpkin in savory recipes like sauces or soups — but he adores this soup. (There may be a theme here, because he says the same thing about eggplant and thinks Eggplant Supper Soup is a treat!😂)

Perhaps the flavorful combination of spices or the presence of hearty black beans and corn, which he loves, won him over. Quite likely it’s the addition of tomato sauce, which allows the pumpkin to serve as a thickener and play a more subtle role where overall flavor is concerned.

Whatever the case, this flavorful soup has a stick-to-your-ribs quality and has become a healthy hit in our house.

As written, the recipe is vegan and loaded with plant-based protein, fiber and a host of vitamins and minerals. For a meat-lovers alternative, a variety of meats could be added. The soup is easy to customize in other ways, too, so I’ve included a list of possibilities in the recipe notes.

The preparation requires minimal chopping, a little sautéing, and then you basically add the remaining ingredients and simmer for 10 minutes. Your reward is a big batch of nourishing soup that only gets better with age, making leftovers a real treat.

I like to keep the soup in the refrigerator for ready-to-scoop meals throughout the week. If you’re cooking for a one or two, you may prefer to freeze some or share with a friend who may enjoy it.

Because the addition of pumpkin does make this soup unique, the word earned a spot in the recipe title. However, when cooking for someone who views pumpkin as my husband does, you might consider calling it Tomato, Black Bean & Corn Soup, or something similar.😉

PUMPKIN AND BLACK BEAN SOUP - a super-healthy, stick-to-your-ribs, vegan soup that's easy to customize. The big-batch recipe only gets better with age, making leftovers a real treat!
PUMPKIN AND BLACK BEAN SOUP - a super-healthy, stick-to-your-ribs, vegan soup that's easy to customize. The big-batch recipe only gets better with age, making leftovers a real treat!
Lastly, I must thank Myra, one of the friendly and just plain fabulous cooks at Lemon Street Market for the inspiration behind this recipe. Some time ago, Myra shared a similar recipe, which called for two cans of pumpkin.

Knowing my husband’s tastebuds, I used the recipe as a framework, replacing one can of pumpkin with tomato sauce, a simple change that created an appealing new flavor dimension. It brightened the soup’s color nicely, too. For added protein in this vegan soup, I also added an extra can of beans. This addition created better balance with the corn, both of which ultimately provide a satiating quality to this one-pot meal. The small amount of maple syrup stirred in at the end balances the acidity.

Feel free to prepare this soup in advance, as the big-batch recipe only gets better with age, making leftovers a real treat!

PUMPKIN AND BLACK BEAN SOUP - a super-healthy, stick-to-your-ribs, vegan soup that's easy to customize. The big-batch recipe only gets better with age, making leftovers a real treat!

 

Pumpkin and Black Bean Soup
Yield: 3½+ quarts
This super-healthy, stick-to-your-ribs, vegan soup is easy to customize and makes a big batch - perfect for easy dinners and packable lunches all week long.
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 cup diced celery (about 2 large stalks)
  • 1½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1½ teaspoon curry powder (may substitute chili powder)
  • 1 (15-ounce) can 100% pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
  • 1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 6 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (16-ounce) bag frozen corn kernels
  • 1 cup diced red bell pepper (or 1 medium)
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons kosher or sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup (could substitute sweetener of choice)
Instructions

Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion and celery and sauté until golden, about 10 minutes. Stir in the cumin and curry powder, and sauté for 30-60 seconds more, or until fragrant.

Add the pumpkin and tomato sauce, stirring to mix in and very lightly cook it, about a minute or so. (Tip: this is a small extra step that will remove the raw taste that can sometimes be apparent with canned pumpkin; just be careful not to scorch, as the mixture is thick.) Stir in the broth, black beans, frozen corn, red bell pepper, red pepper flakes and salt. Bring to a boil, and then lower the heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove from the heat, stir in the maple syrup and taste for seasoning. You may serve right away or allow the soup to sit at room temperature for up to 2 hours, reheating when ready to eat. Or you may cool and refrigerate for 4-5 days or freeze for approximately 3 months.

Notes & Variations

As written, this soup is vegan, although meat lovers may enjoy the addition of sausage – anything from a bulk Italian (which would need to be sautéed before adding the broth) to chopped links of fully cooked turkey or chicken sausage would work well. To accommodate different eating preferences, you could stir the cooked sausage into the bowls of only those who want it. I recently did this with some slivered chorizo and it was quite good. That said, even the meat lovers in my family enjoy this soup in its vegan form.
For a heartier, stew-like meal, you could serve over a scoop of cooked rice, quinoa or couscous.
This soup would also take well to the addition of greens like spinach, kale or Swiss chard. If using, remove any tough stems and roughly chop the leaves, and then add the leaves in the last few minutes of the cooking time to give them time to wilt.
Garlic fans may enjoy adding 2-3 minced cloves in the last 30-60 seconds of sautéing the onions.
While the curry flavor is quite mild and complements the soup nicely, you may swap it with an equal amount of chili powder for a slightly different flavor profile.
For a slightly creamy finish, you could stir in a dollop of plain yogurt. Optionally, coconut milk would likely be a nice addition when using the curry option.
For an extra hint of fresh flavor, stir a quarter cup or so of fresh, chopped cilantro or parsley into the finished soup.
The last time I made this soup, I substituted a portion of the vegetable broth with homemade turkey stock from my freezer.
Finally, for a fun garnish with kid-friendly appeal, you could crumble a few tortilla chips or whole grain crackers over the top.

The Fountain Avenue Kitchen https://fountainavenuekitchen.com/

 

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Comments

  1. Susan Post author

    Thanks for this recipe. It went into my collection as awesome. So easy and filling and all of that fiber!!! Keeper for sure!!!

    Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      Susan, That’s such good news! Thank you for letting me know. I’m delighted you enjoyed it as much as we do!

      Reply
  2. Marilyn

    I made this recipe this week and it was both easy and tasty! I used 5c. broth rather than 6 (because that’s all I had on hand) and that was perfect for our taste. I stirred some plain yogurt into mine, and it made it very creamy. Thank you – I’m going to add this one to the regular rotation.

    Reply