Pumpkin & Black Bean Soup


serves 6

1 large sugar pumpkin (about 2½ cups cooked)
2-3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 – 3 serrano chilies, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 cup white wine
1 qt chicken stock
1 14 oz. can diced tomatoes, along with the juice
1½ cup cooked black beans
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon round cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground allspice
Freshly grated nutmeg, a few swipes across your microplane
Juice of 1 lemon
Sea salt
Olive oil
Pepitas and sliced scallions for garnish


Preheat the oven to 350°.

Remove the stem from the pumpkin, then cut it in half. Scoop out the seeds with a metal spoon, scraping the insides as you do, to clean out the strings. Place on a baking sheet, sprinkle with the brown sugar and cover with foil. Roast at 350° for about 1 and 1/2 hours until soft. Allow the pumpkin to cool and scoop out the flesh.

In a large soup pot, heat a swirl of olive oil. When hot, add the chilies, garlic and onion and sweat these veggies. Once they are aromatic and translucent, add the white wine. Allow the wine to reduce by about half, and then add the pumpkin and tomatoes. Top with the chicken stock. Cover the pot and let the soup come to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 5 – 10 minutes.

Blend in batches, adding about a half cup of black beans to the last batch. Return the soup to the pot and add the remainder of the black beans (unblended). Now comes the fun part! Slowly season with sea salt, cumin, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, lemon juice, and even a touch more of brown sugar if you like sweetness. Add these spices one at a time, in small amounts. Taste as you add each one, you may choose to add a little more of one spice and a little less of another – the recipe is a guideline for you to play with.

Serve topped with thinly sliced scallions and toasted pepitas.

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