Recipes for the Season: Black Bean Pumpkin Soup

By Chef Rich Baringer,

I know. The last thing you want to see now is another pumpkin recipe. But this isn’t one of those “pumpkin spice” recipes that seem to be everywhere this time of year. This is something different.

It may sound a little odd, but all the flavors work great together—sweetness and creaminess from the pumpkin, saltiness from ham, warm spiciness from cumin. It’s become a favorite of my clients and would make a great soup course for your Thanksgiving dinner.  Or just make some for yourself when you need a warm-up on a cold night.

Black Bean Pumpkin Soup

Serves 8

If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can use a food processor or blender.


3 (15 oz) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 ¼ cup onion, chopped
½ cup shallot, minced
4 garlic cloves, minced
5 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp kosher salt
½ tsp ground black pepper
¼ cup unsalted butter
4 cups chicken broth
1 (16 oz) can pumpkin
½ cup dry sherry
½ lb smoked ham, cut into ¼” dice
Sherry or red wine vinegar, to taste
Sour cream and toasted pumpkin seeds, for garnish, if desired


  1. In a large pot, melt butter over med-high heat and cook onion, shallot, garlic, cumin, salt and pepper until onion begins to brown a bit, stirring occasionally.
  2. Stir in beans, tomatoes and broth, then puree with stick (immersion) blender until mostly smooth (or until your desired level of smoothness). Add the pumpkin and sherry. Simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until soup coats the back of a spoon, about 20-25 min.
  3. Just before serving, add ham and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper, if needed.
  4. Serve with sour cream and pumpkin seeds as garnish.

Rich Baringer is chef/owner of Dinner’s Done Personal Chef Service. Rich grew up in Haycock Township and has lived (and eaten) in Bucks County his whole life. He now lives in Blooming Glen Village with his wife, Mary Beth, his son Jake, and their new pup, Teddy. Rich graduated from the Culinary Business Academy in Atlanta, is a member of the U.S. Personal Chef Association and owns Dinner’s Done Personal Chef Service. For more information about Dinner’s Done PCS, contact Rich at 215.804.6438, or check out his website.

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