Thursday, October 11, 2012

Pumpkin Black Bean Soup Caribbean Style



This Caribbean inspired recipe marries the flavors of pumpkin, black beans, tomatoes, ham, and sherry to create a very flavorful soup. For a festive and elegant soup tureen, present in a carved out pumpkin shell. Here’s a link to how to prepare a pumpkin shell.

I’ve sautéed the ham to give it more of a smoky flavor, but if you’re in a hurry you could skip that step. For a vegetarian version, omit the ham completely and substitute vegetable stock for the chicken stock.

If you wish to cook the beans from scratch, you’ll need 3 cups of dried beans. I find canned black beans perfectly acceptable drained and well rinsed. In fact if your store doesn’t have a good turn over in their dried black beans, chances are that they are old and will take a long time to cook.



The recipe calls for sherry vinegar. I love sherry vinegar and always have a bottle on my shelf. It’s wonderful tossed with equal parts walnut oil and a neutral tasting oil such as grape seed oil to make a fantastic robust vinaigrette for green salads garnished with toasted walnuts. Recently I posted a rather fancy French arugula salad tossed in a sherry and truffle oil vinaigrette – link here. My French lentil salad also uses sherry vinegar – link here.

The brand of sherry vinegar that I use is Columela from Spain. It’s aged for 30 years in oak barrels (just like wine) and is made from the same grapes that are used to produce Spain’s famous sherries. Fresh Market stocks it in the states as well as Sur la Table, but it’s also available on line from Amazon. In a pinch you could substitute either a good red wine vinegar or champagne vinegar. Balsamic vinegar would be too sweet. Some people say you can use rice wine vinegar, unflavored of course. Personally we use sherry vinegar often enough to warrant having a bottle on hand and it doesn’t seem to go bad, probably because it’s aged.

You could serve this soup now through Thanksgiving or as a first course for an island inspired menu any time during the year. Or perhaps after a chilly Halloween night out on the town. The last minute addition of sherry linds an air of mystery to the soup. Garnish if desired with a dollop of sour cream and sprinkle with pepitas (pumpkin seeds). Served with a little glass of Spanish sherry, it’s positively magical.



Pumpkin Black Bean Soup Caribbean Style
Adapted from Soup for Every Body by Joanna Pruess – serves 6

2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, drained & rinsed
1 cup diced canned tomatoes
1 cup canned pumpkin (not to be confused with pumpkin pie mix)
2 ½ to 3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
2 tablespoons olive oil
8 ounces precooked ham, chopped into small cubes
1 ½ cups finely chopped onion
3 large cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon ground cumin
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
½ cup dry sherry (do not use cooking sherry, it's awful)
Garnish with sour cream (low fat if you like) or plain yogurt and toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds)

Combine the beans and tomatoes in a food processor fitted with a metal blade and pulse until the beans have started to smooth out, but are still somewhat chunky. Place in a soup pot, then add the pumpkin and 2 ½ cups of stock. Stir to combine and set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add the ham and onions and sauté until lightly colored, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cumin and stir for 30 seconds more. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add the sautéed vegetables to the soup pot containing the beans and tomatoes. Stir in the sherry vinegar. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat, and stir occasionally to keep soup from sticking to the bottom of the pot, about 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in the sherry and heat through.  Taste for seasonings and adjust as necessary. Add remaining stock if soup seems too thick.

Serve in bowls topped with a dollop of sour cream or yogurt if desired and sprinkle with pumpkin seeds for a garnish.




This will be shared with Foodie Friday at Rattlebridge Farms, Miz Helen’s Country Kitchen Full Plate Thursday, It's Fall Y'all at Love Bakes Good Cakes, Food on Friday at Carole's Chatter, Foodie Friday at Simple Recipes, Foodtastic Friday at Not Your Ordinary Recipes, Pink Saturday at How Sweet the Sound, Seasonal Sunday at the Tablescaper, and On the Menu Monday at Stone Gable.



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On a separate note, my salad with fresh cherries, goat cheese & pistachios was featured in Daily Foodbuzz’s Top 9 recipes using goat cheese. Thanks Daily Foodbuzz. Here’s a link to the article.



Have a great weekend everyone.

57 comments:

  1. A delicious and wonderfully comforting soup! Your salad also looks very tasty.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  2. This is a perfect soup to make when I visit Elbow Cay in November. Using canned tomatoes, pumpkin and black beans means I don't have to scramble for ingredients. All will be readily available.
    Your photo styling is superb!

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  3. Your soup is beautifully presented Sam and most importantly tasty too!

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  4. What a fantastic idea to serve soup in pumpkin shell! Looks absolutely delicious.

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  5. The soup sounds great and looks adorable in the pumpkin! I love beans any way they are served! Congrats on being featured, it's a beautiful salad:@)

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  6. Sam: This soup looks and sounds so delicious that I have made a grocery list already. Thanks for the tip on the brand of sherry vinegar. Lucky me, I have a Sur la Table gift card!! Now I'm off to check out the next blog on my list--the header says corn muffins, a likely good accompaniment!!

    Best,
    Bonnie

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  7. Did M carve the bowls or you I find it so hard!Cute cute cute..just such cuteness:)

    Thank you for your sherry vinegar recommendation also..
    Your recipes win so many accolades..Good for you:) And us.:)

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  8. ok, this post is just packed full of good information. First of all the soup sounds wonderful. What a great recipe. I've got to find some of that vinegar. And yes, I need ONE more reason to run over to Sur la Table. :) And I've got a can of walnut oil in the fridge that I used for one recipe and haven't used since. Thanks to your suggestion, I'll start using it for a vinaigrette...why didn't i think of that??? :)

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  9. Sam, I am a HUGE lover of black bean soup, and this just intrigues me. Sounds delicious. And I love the way you served it in the pumpkins. Just as cute as can be.

    XO,

    Sheila

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  10. I love the seasoning and the presentation of this soup. Exactly perfect for the Fall.

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  11. I'm hosting an It's Fall Y'all ~ Linky Party. I would love for you to stop by and share this project, and any other Fall project, you may have. Hope to see you there :)

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  12. Hello Sam

    What a beautiful dish and simple recipe - I am certainly going to make this one. Thank you for sharing

    Helen x

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  13. It looks as magical as you say it tastes. I know my family would love this. I'll have to stop in Sur la Table Saturday when we are at the farmers market downtown. :)

    Congrats on Foodbuzz top 9.

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  14. Wow, this sounds wonderful! And I love the idea of presenting it in a carved-out pumpkin.

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  15. I love this soup Sam. We have company this weekend and I think it would be a perfect recipe. And congrats on the Food Buzz feature. Way to go.

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  16. Looks absolutely delicious. And, congrats.

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  17. The soup sounds delicious Sam, but the pumpkin bowl presentation is awesome - I believe we were available to drive over that day. I'm not at all surprised that your salad got recognition. Who would have thought that wine gone bad (vinegar) would sell for $21.

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  18. What a delicious soup, Sam! It's perfect for the chilly weather here! Congrats on your salad!

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  19. I have never seen canned pumpkin of any sort over here, so I will try this with fresh pumpkin from my garden. Love the way you have served it in the pumpkin, it looks good. Take care diane

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  20. Great soup. The new Food on Friday is all about soup. It would be wonderful if you linked this in. Here's the link . Have a souper duper week!

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  21. Gorgeous autumnal dish and presentation. Love that you added the touch of sherry vinegar which just brightens and takes it right over top in yumminess!

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  22. Great that you linked in, thanks. have a good one

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  23. I really need to get to your house for dinner sometime! This is glorious, and I can't agree more about sherry vinegar, it's the best. I often just slosh a little bit into random dishes at the end, and it always makes them wake up and taste better.

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  24. This is a perfect Fall meal, complete with a beautiful presentation. Thanks for sharing a heartwarming recipe.

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  25. Sam, your presentations are beautiful! The soup sounds delicious. What a fun idea to use sherry vinegar...going to try that.

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  26. I love everything about this - right down to the sherry vinegar (which I always have on hand). Have never thought of giving black bean soup a pumpkin twist - so this will be fun to try. Your presentation just sings.

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  27. This soup looks fabulous and your presentation is gorgeous! I have that sherry on my list next time I stop at Fresh Market - thanks!

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  28. Sounds like a great meal for these chilly evenings. I'll give it a try.

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  29. We had black beans this week. Sure wish I'd know about adding the pumpkin as that sounds delish.

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  30. I love this soup! I love that you put it in the pumpkin shell, so adorable!

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  31. I love black bean soup! But, I've never tried it with pumpkin before. I'll have to give this version a try. Congrats on being featured in the top 9, too!

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  32. We officially declared Thursday Caribbean Black Bean Soup day. I wish I had done mine all fancy like yours :)

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  33. What a great fall soup! I think that using pumpkins as bowls is so fun and cute.

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  34. what a yummy sounding recipe, and I appreciate that there is an easy veggie option (my husband is vegan) I'm going to try this!

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  35. Hi Sam,
    What a lovely pumpkin presentation for your Pumpkin Black Bean Soup. This is a beautiful fall soup that would be so flavorful.

    Hope you are having a great weekend and thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

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  36. Looks delicious and I love your presentation! Happy Pink Saturday from your new follower!

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  37. oh wow this sounds delicious. i am going to try this recipe. thanks for sharing it! happy pink/pumpkin saturday! xo

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  38. What a wonderul soup for this time of the year! It looks so festive served in a pumpkin, Sam! I bet the addition of sherry before serving make sit smell so good.

    Congrats on the Foodbuzz honor --well deserved!

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  39. Simply delicious! I am the featured blog this week, hope you can drop by.

    Pumpkin Fun
    Have an enjoyable pumpkin-licious weekend!

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  40. Black bean and pumpkin are two of the best flavors on Earth. The natural pumpkin tureen is gorgeous!

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  41. Very happy about this recipe, as I have tried a lot kind of pumpkin soups before (try the Styrian pumpkin soup...) Lovely!

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  42. Dear Sam, This is a wonderful recipe for the holiday season. This would look so pretty on the Thanksgiving table, not to mention delicious.
    Congratulations on the salad.
    Blessings dear. Catherine xo

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  43. What a fantastic way to use up pumpkin!

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  44. Sam, this is absolutely adorable! I imagine pumpkins all over America will follow suit!

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  45. This looks so tasty! And healthy too. I love that you served it in a pumpkin. Adorable!

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  46. I'm thinking I would love this with the combination of beans and pumpkin, both of which I love. With it having become soup weather, this is perfect.

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  47. Oh, this soup sounds amazing.

    - The Tablescaper

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  48. This soup is so festive served in the pumpkin and perfect for autumn's scariest holiday. I love that you added smoked ham, I don't know a better companion to beans. I also share your love of sherry wine. I've tried my hand at making red wine vinegar at home, I should try sherry next.

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  49. What a lovely way to Caribbeanize an autumn soup :) I imagine that black bean and pumpkin is a fantastic, well rounded flavor combo. Totally gonna give this a try!

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  50. Awesome presentation!! This looks so good!! I might have to make this for my mom! THanks for sharing!

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  51. This is a very belated Happy Pink Saturday, Sam. Your thumbnail pulled me right in as soon as I saw it, and I would have sworn I left you a comment, but I don't see it.

    This soup sounds divine. We love black beans, and I can just imagine the flavor with the remaining ingredients. And, oh wow to the presentation.

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  52. That presentation is stunning, so impressive, Sam. Also creative idea to pair the fall pumpkin with black beans. You are just bursting with creativity with this one:)

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  53. What a gorgeous presentation! I am enjoying the photos! Glad Beverly made mention of this post but I really like it! Thank you for sharing the recipe too! Have a good week!

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  54. I love everything about this soup! It not only sounds fabulous, your presentation is amazing! We definitely need to get together sometime, I think we have so much in common - North Carolina, food & pretty presentation (though I'm not as good at it as you are) Probably a lot more too!

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  55. Oh, I almost forgot, we both have husband photographers! They'd have fun together too!

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  56. Beautiful delicious looking soup- I will look for your suggested brand of sherry vinegar, I've been using Napa Valley brand which I like but the Spanish one sounds like something I would really like! Congrats on your salad, it looks wonderful;-)

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  57. Your soup looks delicious! I recently made this great pumpkin black bean soup over at The Junk Drunk that you may like too. Please let me know what you think!
    http://thejunkdrunk.wordpress.com/2013/01/31/deep-stir-pumpkin-black-bean-soup/

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Sam