Black Bean Pumpkin Soup

Updated 12.11.2o22.

Today is the last real day of summer and autumn weather is taking over here in Portland. Clouds kept the sun away most the day and finally in the afternoon the sky opened up and dumped rain. This probably annoys most people, but I was glad for it. I’ve been dying for an autumn-like day to try this recipe adapted from a recipe published in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

This recipe started out using 4 cups of chicken stock and 1 can of pure pumpkin. I added a second can of pumpkin once I tried the soup and realized there was no taste of pumpkin whatsoever. Even with two cans of pumpkin in the soup, I’m not convinced you can taste the pumpkin, which is a shame. Pumpkin is a great accent in savory dishes, such as mac and cheese.

You can make this soup thinner or thicker by adding additional stock or boiling the soup down a bit. I like a thicker soup myself. Something that doesn’t drip right off your slice bread when you dip into it.


  • 2 T. butter or oil
  • 1 large or 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 4 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 ½  tsp. black pepper
  • 4 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano or 1 T. fresh oregano (chopped)
  • 1 ½  c. dried black beans
  • 2 c. fresh chopped tomatoes in their juice or 1 can (14 ½ oz) diced tomatoes (undrained)
  • 4 c. chicken or vegetable stock
  • 3 ½  to 4 c. homemade pumpkin puree
  • Sour cream, fresh cilantro, sliced avocado, corn kernels, shredded cheese, for garnish (optional)


  1. The night before, soak the black beans in a large pot of water. The next day, rinse the beans, cover with 3 cups of fresh water and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer covered for 60 minutes, skimming off any foam. Uncover and simmer for 30 to 60 minutes, stirring occasionally, until done.
  2. In stockpot or Dutch oven, melt butter. Add onions, garlic, salt, pepper, cumin and (dried) oregano (if using dried). Cook until onion is softened. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. In blender, puree two-thirds of the beans and tomatoes, adding some of the stock if necessary. Add to onion mixture with remaining stock and pumpkin. Mix well. If using fresh oregano, add now.
  4. Bring to a simmer and cook uncovered 30 minutes. Ladle into soup bowls. Garnish with sour cream or plain yogurt, if desired, and eat with a big hunk of French or artisan bread.

Recipe rating: 


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