Black Bean & Pumpkin Soup

Even though October is over, I refuse to give up on the pumpkin craze. I will be eating pumpkin muffins, pumpkin pancakes, and drinking pumpkin pie lattes from my favorite bakery cafe for as long as I can. But I can say with great certainty that I will not be eating pumpkin soup. You see, most pumpkin soups are gross. They taste like warmed up pumpkin pie filling without sugar. But this incredible soup recipe from Smitten Kitchen circa 2007 is different. And I mean waayyyyy different. It’s almost like a chili. Black beans and cumin take center stage while pumpkin gently reminds you that it’s still fall even though it snowed on Halloween. It almost tastes like an early Autumn bonfire before it gets too chilly. Cumin and garlic will warm your tastebuds and smoked ham will wrap you up in a great big hug. One taste of this meaty soup will leave all of those other pumpkin bisques in the dust.

I also have some exciting news to share! I will be publishing gourmet versions of your favorite Thanksgiving sides every Thursday from now until Turkey Day. So stay tuned for some fun twists on your old favorites!

bbps ingredients 2

Black Bean and Pumpkin Soup

Adapted from The Smitten Kitchen

Yields 9 Cups


  • Three 15 1/2 ounce cans black beans (about 4 1/2 cups), rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup drained canned tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 1/4 cups chopped onion (if you’re lucky like me, your wonderful boyfriend will help with all of the chopping. Thank you my love!)
  • 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 pound cooked ham, cut into 1/8-inch dice

For Garnish

  • Sour Cream
  • Lime Wedges
  • Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

1. Coarsely puree beans and tomatoes in a food processor.

2. In a 6-quart dutch oven, sauté onion, shallot, garlic, cumin, salt, and pepper in butter over medium heat, stirring, until onion is softened and beginning to brown. Add cubed ham and briefly sauté.  Stir in pureed beans and tomatoes. Stir in broth and pumpkin until combined and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 25 minutes, or until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.

3. Taste soup before seasoning. The beef broth and ham will add salt to the soup so season accordingly. Before serving, garnish with sour cream and pumpkin seeds if using. Serve with lime wedges on the side.

bbps beans

bbps finished 2


2 thoughts on “Black Bean & Pumpkin Soup

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