22 October 2013

Foodie Tuesday | Smoky Pumpkin & Black Bean Soup

This weather is confounding me.

When it should be soup weather (soup o'clock!) it's still sunny and mild and summery.


Stop it, Mother Nature. You're fucking with my (circadian) soupcadian rhythm and I don't appreciate it. Just knock it off.

In the meantime, I'm still making soup because I'm stubborn like that. Is it delicious and appropriate for the dead of winter? Yes. Yet still seasonal because it's all-about-pumpkin? Yes. Is it the best of both worlds? Absolutely, hands-down, YES.

Mother Nature can suck it.

YAY! Winter arrived!! It's soup season, bitches!!!

Preparation: 5 minutes | Cooking Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes | Serves: 8-12

  • 1 large Spanish onion, diced
  • 6 tsp minced garlic
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp coarse salt
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 1 (2 lb.) ham hock or smoked pork shank
  • 4 (19 fl. oz.) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (28 fl. oz.) can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 (28 fl. oz.) can pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup dry sherry
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • sour cream
  • cilantro

Cooking Directions:
  1. In a large soup pot, melt butter and olive oil on medium high heat. Sauté onion, garlic and cumin on medium high heat for 5-8 minutes or until onions are translucent.
  2. Reduce heat to low.
  3. Add black beans, tomatoes, beef broth, salt, pumpkin, ham hock, sherry and white wine vinegar. Stir to combine. Simmer 60-80 minutes until flavours are well-combined.
  4. Remove ham hock and discard (or shred meat into the soup). Garnish with sour cream and chopped cilantro. Now knock it back like it's your job.

So here's the deal: ham hocks gross me out. It's weird and unreasonable and probably super strange that I'm admitting it while at the same time encouraging you to eat it, but the flavour is incomparable. Smoky, meaty, salty goodness gives the overall flavour an incredible robustness it otherwise wouldn't have. Even though I fish the ham hock out of the mix when it's ready to serve (and generally dump it in the garbage because I can't stand to look at it), it's worth including.

Garnish with sour cream (of course) and cilantro. A squeeze of fresh lime juice gives it a nice little kick, too.

Me? I like to eat it straight up: no garnish, no limes. Just black bean and pumpkin goodness.

That's a winner right there. Your stomach is going to high-five you into next week for making this.

Notes: one-pot-wonder | freezer-friendly | gluten free

original recipe via The Savoury Sweet Life