Pumpkin & Black Bean Soup

September 18, 2009 by Ali


So…right in the middle of “Ode To Pumpkin Week”, I found out today that the U.S. is in the middle of a massive pumpkin shortage! Yikes! Apparently pumpkin crops were seriously down this year, so the stores are having a difficult time bringing in canned pumpkin right now. I had to drive to three grocery stores today to find what few cans they had left — tragic!

Still, for those that already had a few cans, or who can find some, (or who are reading this recipe months later when hopefully the supply is restored!) — today is pumpkin soup day! But rather than do just a simple bisque, decided to raid my pantry and toss in some black beans that I’d been needing to use. Yay for fiber. :)

Thankfully, the combination turned out to be surprisingly delicious! Definitely not the lovely orange color I’d hoped for, but still delicious! The pumpkin flavor is actually fairly mild in this recipe, so feel free to add more for extra sweetness and pumpkin-y goodness if you’d like. But otherwise, it’s pretty much a simple black bean soup recipe. So if you’re looking for something different, give this one a go and see if you can get your family or friends to guess the “surprise” ingredient!


Black Bean & Pumpkin Soup Recipe
(Adapted from Smitten Kitchen)

Pumpkin & Black Bean Soup

Total Time: 35 minutes

Yield: 4-6 servings


  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 cans (15 1/2 oz.) black beans, rinsed and drained (about 4 1/2 cups)
  • 1 cup drained canned tomatoes, chopped
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 1 can (16 oz.) pumpkin puree (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup dry Sherry (or other dry white wine)
  • Garnish:
  • sour cream and/or lightly toasted pumpkin seeds


In a 6-quart heavy kettle cook onion, garlic, cumin, chili powder, and pepper in oil over moderate heat, stirring, until onion is softened and beginning to brown. Stir in black beans, tomatoes, broth, pumpkin, and Sherry until combined and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, 25 minutes, or until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.

If you'd like a more chili-like consistency, serve as is. To puree, use an immersion blender to either partly or completely puree the hot soup. Or, puree the soup in a regular blender, working in batches. (Be careful not to fill too full, since the soup is hot!)

Serve soup garnished with sour cream and toasted pumpkin seeds.

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Ali's Tip: If you'd like to add some meat to this, feel free to throw in some cubed (cooked) ham, or shredded chicken, or bacon. Better yet, cook the bacon first, remove it from the pan, and then saute the onions in the grease. Yum. If I would have had some bacon on hand today, this would have totally happened!

(c) 2013 Gimme Some Oven. All rights reserved.


About Ali

Ali Ebright is a freelance recipe developer and food writer/photographer, and blogs at Gimme Some Oven and Gimme Some Life. She also loves all things music, traveling near and far, actually making things from Pinterest, cozying up with a good book and her sweet pup, Henry, and spending time with a wonderful group of friends. Come say hello and follow Ali on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ & Instagram.

Leave a Reply


15 thoughts on “Pumpkin & Black Bean Soup

  1. This recipe is just the right size for a 6 quart slow cooker. I only reduced the liquid by about 1/2 cup, could have done with a little less (I didn’t blend).

    - Megan

  2. I came back to this recipe because I remember it being so tasty. I made it tonight for my intentional community (13 folks) and everyone loved it – especially 1-yr-old Auggie. Thanks again for sharing it!

    - Mira

  3. What I didnt put in: cumin, sherry, beef broth. What I did put in: smoked bacon, chicken stock, butter, finely chopped green chillis, worchestershire, hot sauce, ketchup (touch) canned tomatoes, potatoes, and cilantro near the end. Garnish sour cream, pumpkin seeds, grated cheddar and a generous squeeze of lime. Unbeleivable. Best soup ever. Seriously the women at the table threw VERY suggestive eyes at me as they ate this soup. Maybe it was just the onions though. Who knows?

    - Hellowatch

  4. Soup was fabulous!!! I made some modifications worth mentioning: I started the onions in bacon and bacon fat. I didnt have any canned tomatoes so I used a marinara sauce instead. I put two finely chopped jalapeno peppers in with the onions, a bit of ketchup and worchestershire with the stock, and a squeeze of lime to finish. Grated cheddar and parm to garnish. and a wee teaspoon of brandy because I had no wine. Wow! Also, I reduced the leftover soup the next day and threw it in some tortillas with chicken and salsa. Double wow!!

    - Hellowatch

  5. Question: Is there a substitute for the sherry/wine? When recipes call for this, sometimes it calls for “cooking wine”. Is that the same thing or an equivalent substitute?

    - Sandra

  6. I made this recipe and wrote about it here: http://tomatoesforapples.blogspot.com/2010/01/pumpkin-turkey-bean-and-bean-and-beany.html

    Next time I’ll use less beans, but the soup was very tasty. Thank you for passing on the recipe.

    - mrsblocko

  7. Made this last night! Used 2 cans of black beans, chicken broth, added some diced red pepper and chipotle sauce from the fridge. . . it was really yummy. Will certainly make again. We topped it with sour cream and dipped in taco chips.

    - Laura

  8. This looks and sounds so tasty! Now you have got me totally wanting some pumpkin soup and I am worried I will have to drive all over to find the pumpkin. Once I get a craving I can’t let it go until it is satisfied.

    - Andrea

  9. Maybe it’s my monitor not showing the colours correctly, but it looks like it IS a lovely orange colour! This looks fabulous and the bacon suggestion makes it very likely to get some traction in my house (husband might not be wild for the idea of pumpkin in soup, but the bacon factor ought to make up for it).

    - camille

  10. The orange still shines through! Great recipe!

    - Peggy

  11. i think the color’s perfect–you can still tell that there’s some serious beanage in there. hooray for fiber indeed! :)

    - grace

  12. I am making this tomorrow.. looks fabulous – thanks!

    - Leslie

  13. Wow – I had no idea that there was a pumpkin shortage! How sad! This soup looks delicious, though! I bet you could use mashed butternut squash in place of the pumpkin if there’s no pumpkin available.

    - Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction

  14. This soup sounds really good! The black beans would make it nice and creamy.

    - Kevin