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.


  • 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)


  1. 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.

More recipes at FountainAvenueKitchen.com