Friday, November 11, 2011

Black Bean and Pumpkin Soup

Rounding out our evening of pumpkin and beer...and adding a bit more substance to an otherwise carb-ridden table, was this black bean and pumpkin soup.  I first happened upon the recipe at Saucy and Bossy and had been waiting all fall for an oppertuner time to try it out.  When Ross annouced his next beer would be a pumpkin ale, I knew the soup's moment had come.

I added about twice as much pumpkin as either of the linked recipes used.  My pumpkin of choice was roasted and pureed from a fresh pumpkin...not canned.  But in a pinch either will work.  I also omitted the ham steak and used vegetable broth to make this a vegan/vegetarian friendly dish.

The recipe was also adapted for use in the slow cooker, as to be readily on hand throughout several hours of entertaining.

Adapted from the recipe posted at Saucy and Bossy, but originally from Smitten Kitchen

yields 9 cups

The Ingredients:
3 cans (15.5 oz)  black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cans stewed tomatoes, drained and chopped
1 medium red onion, diced
1 shallot, diced
5 cloves of garlic, minced
2 Tbsp ground cumin
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
3 Tbsp olive oil
6 cups vegetable, chicken or beef stock
2 cups pumpkin puree
1/2 cup sherry, cider or dry white wine
3-4 Tbsp red wine vinegar
additional slat and pepper to taste

The Process:
Combine drained tomatoes and black beans in a food processor.  Blend beans and tomatoes into a course puree

In large skillet, sautee onions, shallot, garlic, cumin, salt and pepper in olive oil until onion is beginning to brown and the cumin is fragrant.  Transfer onion mixture to a 6-qt slow cooker.  Stir in bean puree, stock, pumpkin puree and sherry.

Simmer the soup on high for 2-3 hours or on low for 4-6 hours

Just before serving, stir in the vinegar and season to taste with salt and pepper.  Garnish with sour cream and toasted pepitas.

The Review:
I really wanted to like this soup.  I really truly did.  I make several varaiations of black bean soup throughout the colder months and hoped this incarantion would add a welcome diversion from my cumin studded, chili-like line up.

It wasn't as new and exciting as I had hoped.  The dominate flavor was most assuredly the cumin.  I adore cumin, but I can't seem to avoid a black bean soup that relies on this spice.  The pumpkin was present, but in more of supporting role than leading actor.  The textures were good, though a bit smooth for my taste.  The sherry did add a lovely bright finish to the dish, but only when ladled freshly after adding.  Allowed to simmer longer in the crock pot, it's clean bite quickly faded.

More pumpkin, less bean.  Less cumin.  And sorry vegetarians...I think the soup needs the beef stock for that added depth.  And the ham steak for more interest.  Better yet...stock made from a ham I know what to do with those holiday leftovers.

No comments:

Post a Comment