As far as pumpkin or any squashy-type soup goes, I am generally a strong supporter. Although, I always crave a salty, crunchy topping to contrast the typically sweet soup. I either do a cheese, nuts, a tart fruit, or a spicy relish.
This, however, is not one of those soups. There is a whole can of pumpkin in it, but the taste of pumpkin is very subtle. You'd have to try pretty hard to even tell it is there. It does balance out the black bean and cumin flavors, which are the most powerful to me. It is almost chili-esque. So, I guess what I am trying to say is that this soup is not very sweet at all. Scot and I both gave it high ratings!
I did substitute white wine and white wine vinegar for the Sherry vinegar and Sherry. I was just too cheap, but I am sure the Sherry would be delicious.
Black Bean Pumpkin Soup
from Gourmet, November 1996 via smitten kitchen
Three 15 1/2 ounce cans black beans (about 4 1/2 cups), rinsed and drained
1 cup drained canned tomatoes, chopped (or 1 can diced tomatoes drained)
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
4 cups beef broth a
16-ounce can pumpkin puree (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
coarsely chopped lightly toasted pumpkin seeds
In a food processor coarsely puree beans and tomatoes.
In a 6-quart heavy kettle cook onion, shallot, garlic, cumin, salt, and pepper in butter over moderate heat, stirring, until onion is softened and beginning to brown. Stir in bean puree. Stir in broth, pumpkin, and Sherry until combined and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, 25 minutes, or until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
Just before serving, add ham and vinegar and simmer soup, stirring, until heated through. Season soup with salt and pepper.
Serve soup garnished with sour cream and toasted pumpkin seeds.
(Servings: 4-6, Prep time: 10 min, Cook time: 35 min., Difficulty: Easy)
Shanon (taste): 7/10
Scot (taste): 9/10
Dishwashing Effort: 3/5