Saturday, November 28, 2009

Black Bean and Pumpkin Soup

After the muffins, I still had plenty of puree left, so I decided to make some soup. I had seen recipes for black bean and pumpkin soup in the past, so I finally decided to give it a try. We always have cans of black beans in the pantry. They are one of my favorite foods.

I didn't follow a recipe for this soup; instead, I looked at several recipes online and then concocted my own using what I had and what sounded good. I do this a lot. I have so many cookbooks and cooking magazines, but I rarely follow a recipe verbatim.

My soup was good. I've always been pretty good with soup. Here is the best recipe I can give you at the moment. Due to my pinch-of-this-pinch-of-that-method, the measurements are approximations.

Black Bean and Pumpkin Soup

1 tbs extra-virgin olive oil
1 pat of butter (about 1/4-inch thick)
1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped
1/2-1 tbs minced garlic
1-2 tbs canned chipotle peppers in adobe sauce, finely chopped
1-3 tsp ground cumin powder
1/4- 1/2 cup cooked ham, cubed (we had leftovers from Thanksgiving)
1/4 cup beer (whatever's in the fridge)
2 15-ounce cans black beans (I used the whole can drain and rinse if you want)
1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
1-1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
1 15-ounce can beef broth
15-30 ounces of water (I used my beef broth can to add enough water to make soup thinner)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Sour cream for garnish, optional (I used fat-free sour cream)

1. Heat oil and butter in large soup pot (I used a 6-quart pot) over low heat. Add garlic and let sit for a few minutes to infuse garlic flavor in oil. Turn the heat up to medium, add onion, stir and saute until onion is translucent. Add chipotle peppers, cumin, and ham and stir.
2. Add beer to deglaze pan. Stir and scrape bottom of pot.
3. Add the next 6 ingredients, through salt and pepper, and stir. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer as long as you want (I usually let soups simmer at least 20 minutes).
4. Puree soup(I used my immersion blender), bring back to a boil, and simmer a few more minutes.
5. Serve warm topped with sour cream (optional).

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