I rarely long for soup here in Southwest Florida, even in winter. Now and again I make a hearty soup on a rainy night, a “stay at home night” when you want to feel cozy, even though the temperature has not dropped below 60. A thick soup accompanied by salad and cheese makes an easy and welcome supper.
Not long ago my son asked for a good recipe for Black Bean Soup. He and his family live in San Francisco. While the temperatures there rarely drop below freezing, there is nothing like days of dank fog to make you want the comfort of soup.
Lately, I’ve been thinking about my friends and family in Maine and New York. They have been braving one snowstorm after another. For them, and for all hungry for a delicious soup I offer this easy recipe.
BLACK BEAN PUMPKIN SOUP
3 fifteen ounce cans of black beans rinsed and drained
1 cup drained canned tomatoes chopped
1 and ¼ cup chopped onion
½ cup minced shallot
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tb. plus 2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. ground pepper
½ stick unsalted butter
4 cups beef broth
16 ounce can of pumpkin puree
½ cup dry sherry
½ pound cooked ham, cut into dice
3-4 Tb. sherry vinegar
In a processor coarsely puree beans and tomatoes. In a 6 quart heavy kettle cook onion, shallot, garlic, cumin, salt and pepper in butter over moderate heat, stirring until onion is softened and beginning to brown. Stir in bean puree. Stir in broth, pumpkin and sherry until combined and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, 25 minutes until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Just before serving, add ham and vinegar and simmer soup, stirring until heated through. Season soup with salt and pepper. Serve soup garnished with sour cream and toasted pumpkin seeds. Makes about 9 cups.