The cotton fields faded into rolling hills of pine trees, and open meadows enveloping a grand live oak that must have been spared years ago when the fields were planted and now it shaded a few black cows. Out my window, small rural towns grew into towering cities and back to main streets again. And then we came up over a rise in the road and there, there stood my beautiful Blue Ridge mountains. Home.
A never-ending horizon of deciduous forest just beginning to welcome fall. Climbing high above valleys, looking out over the endless forest, imagining the possibilities that lay before us. Each layer of mountain unfolding before us as we continued on our journey, the abandoned red barns still standing, and hollow stone buildings – a reminder of our past.
We spent the crisp, sunny days lost in rows of apple trees, sitting in adirondack chairs with glasses of wine and celebrating the beautiful wedding of two wonderful friends. With the memory of cooler days still fresh in my mind, I thought it was time to welcome fall in at our house with this pumpkin soup. I’m so proud of this recipe!! It’s smoky, a teeny bit sweet from the pumpkin, and full of flavor. I seriously can’t get enough of it! And hello, the pumpkin shell working as a bowl? It wasn’t planned, but secretly I’m like – take that pinterest! Here is fall in a bowl.
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- 1/2 medium yellow onion, sliced
- 1 jalapeño, seeds removed and roughly chopped
- 1 pie pumpkin, roasted
- 3-4 cups chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon salt (more to taste)
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper (more to taste)
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 Tablespoon Chipotle pepper in adobo sauce (the sauce, and the pepper if you like heat!)
- 1 Tablespoon Sherry
- 1/2 lime juiced
- 1 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
- crusty bread
- plain greek yogurt for topping
- cilantro, chopped, for topping
- To Roast the Pie Pumpkin:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Cut the pumpkin in half and remove the seeds and "guts". Place the pumpkin halves face down in a glass 13 x 9 pan. Fill the pan with water, 1/4 of the way up the pumpkin. Bake for an hour or until tender. Flip the pumpkin halves over and let cool before scraping out the fresh, yummy pumpkin goodness. Turn off oven.
- For the Soup:
- In a dutch oven, warm olive oil on high heat and add the sliced onions. Cook 5 minutes and then add the garlic and jalapeño. Cook an additional 5 minutes or so, the onions should start to caramelize and turn translucent.
- Stir in the pumpkin, salt, pepper, and cumin. Mix together well.
- Pour in the chicken broth and stir well until the pumpkin has mixed in to the broth.
- Bring to a simmer, and put heat at medium, medium-high.
- Add the sherry, lime, and Adobo sauce (and pepper if you want - the pepper is too spicy for me with the jalapeño, feel free to omit one but the sauce part of the Chipotle Pepper in Adobo sauce is key!!)
- Simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and add to a blender a little at a time (or use an immersion blender! One of these days I'll get one...) and puree until smooth. Be sure to work in batches! It's hot and you don't want it exploding out of the blender...been there done that. :)
- Once the entire soup is pureed, add it back to the dutch oven pot, and add the black beans. Simmer for another 5-7 minutes. Serve with crusty bread, top with plain greek yogurt and cilantro.