Monday, December 13, 2010

Mexican Pumpkin Soup

It's actually getting cold out there (I know, it's almost Christmas so I guess it's about time) and I'm in the mood for warm, creamy, hearty soup! This recipe is totally easy and the unexpected flavor combination makes it one of the best soups in my repertoire. It's also made nearly entirely out of pantry items, so it's a great think to make in a pinch.

The secret to making this soup thick and creamy without a lot of cream and butter is using the pureed pumpkin as a base. It adds a thick, rich feeling to the broth and a serious depth of flavor. Plus the sweet creaminess of the pumpkin mixed with the spice of the jalapeno, the tang of the lemon juice and the burst of freshness from the cilantro really make the flavor come alive. Lastly, the pinto beans and potatoes make this low fat, healthy dish, a hearty, filling meal.

First, gather up the ingredients:

1 large onion, chopped
4-5 cloves garlic, chopped
4 cups vegetable broth
1 15-oz can canned pumpkin
1 15-oz can pinto beans, rinsed
1 seeded, diced jalapeno
5 medium red potatoes, diced into 1/2 inch cubes
1 Tbsp. marjoram or oregano
pinch of cayenne pepper (to taste)
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 cup unsweetened soymilk
lemon juice
salt and pepper

Heat a large soup pot, add 2-3 Tbsp. of broth and saute the onions until soft. Next add the garlic and cook 1 minute more. Add the rest of the broth, pumpkin, pinto beans, jalapeno and potatoes; then stir in the marjoram, cayenne and cumin. Bring the whole pot to a boil then turn down to a simmer. Simmer about 30 minutes until the potatoes are fork-tender. Remove from the heat and cool soup for about 5 minutes. Stir in the soymilk and taste. Add a good squeeze of lemon juice and some salt and pepper and taste again. Adjust seasonings to suit your taste. Serve garnished with a healthy sprinkle of cilantro on top.

It really couldn't be easier, and it's great to have a soup like this that takes only 30 minutes to cook. I couldn't recommend this dish more highly...especially for those of you who live in really cold climates! Look in your pantry and you may only need 1-2 ingredients from the store!

1 comment:

  1. This sounds delicious! I just made Pumpkin Black Bean Soup the other day, and made it 100% vegan! Here's my recipe, altered from a Rachel Ray recipe on FoodNetwork:

    * 2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
    * 1 medium onion, finely chopped
    * 3 cups vegetable stock
    * 1 can (14 1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes in juice
    * 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, drained
    * 2 cans (15 ounces) pumpkin puree
    * 1 cup unsweetened soy milk (the original recipe called for cream, but I subbed in the soy milk, and it was great!)
    * 1 tablespoon curry powder
    * 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
    * 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    * Coarse salt
    * 20 blades fresh chives, chopped or snipped, for garnish


    Heat a soup pot over medium heat. Add oil. When oil is hot, add onion. Saute onions 5 minutes. Add broth, tomatoes, black beans and pumpkin puree. Stir to combine ingredients and bring soup to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and stir in cream, curry, cumin, cayenne and salt, to taste. Simmer 5 minutes, adjust seasonings and serve garnished with chopped chives.