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.

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Italian Turkey Soup

I found this recipe one day when I was hunting for something yummy and warm on a cold, wet day. This looked promising, although I was a bit skeptical about adding the spinach. Silly me! It was absolutely scrumptious, and my husband and I were able to enjoy it for a few days.

We basically prepared the soup according to the recipe found at Our Best Bites, but next time, I’d like to try substituting Italian turkey sausage for the ground turkey.

italian-turkey-soup

Italian Turkey Soup
from Our Best Bites

Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 lb ground turkey
1 small onion (about 3/4 C) diced
4-5 garlic cloves, minced
1 T Dry Italian seasoning (or I think Kate used this)
Salt
Pepper
1 can (15oz) canned diced tomatoes
1 can (15oz) white beans (Cannelini, Great Northern, etc) drained and rinsed
32 oz chicken broth
(Note: I mixed up my own broth using Better than Bouillon)
1 tsp dry oregano
1/4 tsp dry basil
1 T dried parsley (or about 1/4 C fresh)
4-6 C fresh spinach (you could use frozen too)
fresh Parmesan cheese

Pour a couple swigs of extra virgin olive oil (1-2 T) into a large stock pot. Turn burner to med-high heat.

When oil is nice and hot, add diced onions, minced garlic, and ground turkey. Stir to combine and add the 1T dry Italian seasoning, along with about 1/2 t salt and several turns of black pepper. Cook until turkey is completely cooked through. When you’re browning ground beef or turkey for soup it’s important to cook it all the way through before adding the liquid or it will end up mushy.

(If you want to cook this via slow-cooker, place the turkey mixture in the crock pot now and continue. Although, you may want to hold off adding your beans until about 15 minutes before you’re ready to eat or they might turn to mush in there.)

Add in canned tomatoes (including all the juice), the drained beans, and the chicken broth. Add oregano and basil and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and simmer for at least 10 minutes, and up to 20.

While soup is simmering chop spinach. I chop it up really small so my kiddo doesn’t notice it’s something healthy. Add in spinach and parsley and stir until wilted. Also, additional salt and pepper to taste. Ladle into bowls and top with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.