Pumpkin Black Bean Soup

My SIL first made this soup for our Halloween dinner several years ago. We immediately fell in love with it, and it has become part our traditional Halloween meal.

If serving to kids, you may want to reduce or omit the cayenne, since they will most likely find it too spicy. The original recipe called for twice as much cayenne as I’ve listed here, but it was too spicy for this mild girl’s taste. You can adjust to your on taste.

The original recipe called for a finely chopped onion, but I didn’t like having the onion chunks floating in my bowl. Instead, I prefer the onion to be pureed after it’s been softened. If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can use a food processor or blender. Just be sure to add a little of the veggie stock to the onions to help them puree more easily, and NEVER add hot liquids to your blender or you can plan to take cover from the imminent explosion.

Pumpkin Black Bean Soup

2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 Cups vegetable stock
1 Can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes in juice
1 can (15oz) black beans, drained & rinsed
2 cans (15 oz) pumpkin puree
1 Cup heavy cream
1 Tbsp curry powder
1½ tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
1 1/2 tsp coarse salt (I used coarse sea salt)
20 blades fresh chives, chopped or snipped for garnish

Over medium heat, add oil to large stock pot. When oil is hot, add onion. Saute onions 5 minutes. Add broth and pumpkin puree. Use immersion blender to puree onion and combine ingredients. Add tomatoes and black beans. Stir to combine ingredients, and bring soup to a boil.

Reduce heat to medium low. Stir in cream, curry, cumin, cayenne, and salt to taste. Simmer 5 minutes, adjust seasonings and serve. Garnish with chopped chives.

Halloween Party 2011 Menu

This year, we planned a somewhat impromptu Halloween Party for a few of my daughter’s friends. We had some yummy treats…Pumpkin Krispy Treats (see recipe below), Candy Corn Sugar Cookies (I used my favorite recipe for the dough and just doubled the vanilla and almond flavorings since there is no frosting on the cookies. At a minimum, I also recommend dipping each cookie in the coarse sugar before baking. The white candy melt or almond bark on portions of some of the cookies was quite tasty, too. I’ll do more of these next time), and No Bake Cookies transfigured into cute spiders.

There were Mummy Dogs and Candy Corn Pizza for our main course. We agreed that hot dogs wrapped in crescent dough are WAY tastier than hot dogs in a bun. We’ll be having these more often. I didn’t get around to dotting the eyes on the faces, but I think everyone still got the point.

Boo Brew. One of the comments on this recipe suggested using Peeps Ghosts instead of creating your own using whipped cream and mini chocolate chips as the recipe instructed. I went with the time saving tip and was happy with the outcome.

I also made this Caramel Toffee Dip and served with Winesap and Granny Smith apple slices from our apple picking trip the previous day. Somehow missed getting the photo. It is seriously so incredibly delicious. We made it again over the weekend, and it vanished quickly.

Pumpkin Krispy Treats
Modified from Little Family Fun

  • approximately 6 cups of crispy rice cereal (white or brown puffed rice cereal)
  • 1 package of marshmallows (I think minis are easier to melt)
  • 1/2 c. butter
  • 2 (3 oz) envelopes of orange Jell-O or Kool Aid (I used Jell-O)
  • Tootsie Roll midgets or large pretzel sticks
  • baking spray
  • wax paper
  • green icing, optional

Directions:

Melt the marshmallows and butter in microwave or on stove top. Once melted, remove from heat and stir in the Jell-O or Kool-Aid. If it is not “orange enough” for you, you can add some red and yellow food coloring to enhance the color. (I didn’t need to do this). Add the crispy rice cereal and stir well.

Spray your hands with baking spray and roll the mixture into balls and place them on wax paper. Make a dent into the top of the pumpkin and insert pretzel or tootsie roll. Mold pumpkin around the stem. Cool before piping on leaves.

Yield: approximately 2 dozen pumpkins