Sunday, October 10, 2010

Pumpkin Time!

Yesterday I got the crazy notion to make pumpkin soup, but not from a reipe, oh no, just something out of my own head. Turned out okay, actually. I call it Pumpkin and Black Bean Soup.

1 15-oz can pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix--be careful!)
1 15-oz can black beans (or 1 c. dried black beans)
1 medium white onion, chopped coarsely
4 Tbsp. butter
1 poblano pepper, fresh, or 2-4 pieces dried poblano pepper, chopped
cayenne to taste
1 c. plain yogurt

I chopped the onion while melting 3 Tbsp. butter in a large saute pan. Then sauteed the onion, added can of beans (Note: next time I think I'll use no more than 1/c cooked beans to preserve the cheerful seasonal color of the pumpkin better) and the chopped poblano. Saute for about 5 minutes, until the onion is soft and the beans seem heated through. Take off heat but leave in pan.

I then used my blue Le Creuset pan to cook the pumpkin with the last Tbsp. of butter on low until it was heated through. In future, I might use a fresh pumpkin, but I didn't want to fuss with it yesterday since I was only experimenting. While it cooks, stir cayenne into bean mixture 1/4 tsp at a time, to taste; be careful, because it will get hotter as it ages.

When the pumpkin is ready, add the beans to it, and whisk in the yogurt. Heat slowly on low or warm, covered, checking every couple of minutes to whisk everything together and keep it from burning. Serve with crusty French bread or hearty grainy crackers.

I added the yogurt to make the soup creamier, because I didn't want to blend everything. If I hadn't put the beans in, I would indeed have simply blended it all smooth. The poblano added a smoky flavor, nice with the pumpkin's sweetness, while the cayenne gave it a little kick. Pumpkin is so incredibly healthy--full of fiber, A, C, etc--but I get tired of making pumpkin pie or pumpkin bread, as much as I love them both. This is lower in calories and higher in fiber.

In the last two weeks, I also played around with these dishes:
  • Chicken Breasts stuffed with goat cheese, red peppers, and green olives
  • Carrot Soup (my favorite! out of Moosewood Cookbook)
  • Sausages and Peppers
  • Tuna Steaks with Mango Salsa (Epicurious recipe)
  • One-Bowl Browning (recipe inside box of Baker's Baking Chocolate)

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