Black Bean Pumpkin Soup

We spent a great weekend in Vermont visiting our older daughter Lauren (photo) and her family.  Her husband is a vegetarian so it's always a challenge to come up with something new that everyone will enjoy.  (Think Rick and vegetables!).  We found a Black Bean Pumpkin Soup in Epicurious which we adapted and it promises to be a new staple in our repetoire.  Hope you like it.

Black Bean Pumpkin Soup

2 15 1/2 ounce cans black beans
1 large can diced tomatoes
1 1/4 cups chopped onion
1/2 cup minced shallot
4 garlic cloves minced or grated
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
2 cups beef, chicken or vegetable stock, more as needed
large can pumpkin puree
1/2 cup dry Sherry
3 to 4 tablespoons Sherry vinegar
Sour cream

In a 6-quart heavy kettle, cook the onion, shallot, garlic, cumin, salt and pepper in the butter over moderate heat until onion is softened and beginning to brown.

Add the beans and tomatoes and pulse with an immersion blender until coarsely pureed.  (If you don't have an immersion blender, puree the beans and tomatoes in a food processor before adding.)

Stir in stock, pumpkin, and Sherry until combined and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally about 30 minutes or until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.  If you prefer a thinner soup, just add more broth until the desired consistency.

Garnish with a dollop of sour cream.

Note:  If you make a lot of soups, an immersion blender is a great tool to add to your arsenal!

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