Purty Things and Black Bean Pumpkin Soup with Cinnamon and Ginger

It's been a week of the most lovely surprises. :-) My friend Bekah popped by my office for a flurried visit from New York, bearing her beamiest of smiles, squeeziest of hugs, and this gorgeous little gardenia from her grandmother's garden.

My dear friends Art and Donna came for dinner and brought the most wonderful house-warming gift, this exquisite dish handmade by their oh-so-talented daughter, Jennifer. I think it suits my jeweled pens splendidly! :-)

Last but not least, when I arrived home from my lovely weekend away, these little beauties were blooming like mad near my front door. :-)

They make me grin every time I'm coming or going. :-)

After some outrageously beautiful, sunny, Spring days, the rains, dark skies and chilly breezes have returned. Thus I've been turning to comforting, warming soups like this scrumptious Black Bean Pumpkin. The first time I read through the ingredients I was a wee bit nervous. Black beans, pumpkin, tomatoes and a bevy of spices like cinnamon, cumin and ginger are definitely not traditional companions, but it looked so yummy I had to try it. I'm SO glad I did! This soup is now a family favorite, making many a dull day cheery and interesting. :-)

Black Bean and Pumpkin Soup with Cinnamon and Ginger
(Adapted from Once Upon A Tart)


1 1/2 cups dried black beans, picked through, rinsed and soaked overnight, or quick-soaked (when I don't have time for such things, I just use 3-4 cans of black beans, drained)
6 cups cold, unsalted water (for simmering beans)
1/2 big yellow onion, diced
1 garlic clove, peeled and minced
2 Tbsp olive oil
3/4 pound plum tomatoes, peeled and diced (I use 2-3 cans diced tomatoes when I want to speed things up)
(I always use more of the next three spices)
1 Tbsp cumin
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
4 cups (1 quart) vegetable or chicken stock
1 cup canned or fresh pumpkin puree
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar

  1. If doing beans from scratch: drain and rinse the soaked beans in a colander. Bring the water and beans to boil in a large soup pot over high heat. Lower the heat and simmer, uncovered, for about an hour, until the beans are soft to the bite, but not falling apart or splitting. Drain the beans in a colander. 
  2. Saute the onion and garlic in the olive oil in a large soup pot over high heat, stirring frequently so that they don't stick to the bottom of the pan, until the onion begins to soften, 5-10 minutes. Lower heat to medium and continue to saute, stirring occasionally for about 10 more minutes, until onion is tender and translucent. 
  3. Add the tomatoes, cumin, cinnamon, ginger, salt, and pepper to the soup pot, and saute until the tomatoes begin to break down and give off juices, 5-10 minutes. Pour in the stock, pumpkin puree, vinegar and beans. 
  4. Bring the soup to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld.
  5. Remove the soup from the heat to puree. Pureeing makes it a thick, smooth, more cohesive soup, but you still want the texture of the black beans so don't puree it all. Serve warm.


  1. You sure do, Amuse!! :-) I simply had to have it. :-)

  2. Black bean pumpkin cinnamon and ginger. Unique flavor combinations. Being of Cuban decent we eat loads of black beans. This recipe I must try. Thank you for sharing. Cheers!

  3. It is unique and quite splendid, Lazaro. :-) I know very little about Cuban cuisine and am excited to learn more from you!

  4. Hey there honey...hope you feeling better with all that love being showered on you. How sweet of everyone to drop by!! FUN!! That soup is intriguing ... what a great load of flavour!!

  5. Thank you, dear Deeba! They totally cheered me up and made me feel so loved. :-) Today is a good day and I'm going to enjoy it utterly. :-)

  6. It seems like you have the best friends Krista! And it's no surprise to me since you are just such a lovely person.

    The pumpkin soup sounds delicious...I'm loving that cinnamon it has!

  7. ok this is going on my list! we eat alot of black beans too but never knew you could add pumpkins! and all my favorite spices.......thanks for this one krista! p.s. lucky girl, nice pressies!

  8. They are wonderful, Joanne, beyond a doubt! They make my world so lovely. :-) So do you! Your posts always cheer me and make my day better. :-)

  9. You're so welcome, Paradis!! :-) Glad it suits your fancy! :-)

    Aren't they love pressies? I feel very lucky indeed. :-)

  10. Such lovely things, and people, and visits! The soup looks great; I love the blend of warming spices. Perfect for those days when it seems spring is turning back into winter!

  11. Thank you, Nancy! :-) Yes, they made me feel all loved and cared for. :-)

  12. It was so nice to see you on Friday Krista. My trip was short but sweet with friends and lots of exploring. You inspire me so much just by being your sweet self--you should have a dozen gardenias.

    The soup looks scrumptious. :)

  13. I'm SO glad you came, Bekah! Your Mum was fit to bursting with excitement. :-) You cheer my heart tremendously, my friend. :-) Happy New Yorking! :-)

  14. What a lovely surprise and gardenias from her garden too! They have such a lovely sweet smell. We're expecting a cold spell on Monday so these soup recipes are brilliant! :D

  15. So glad I saw this recipe! I have got all the ingredients so presto!
    I love that you are cheered up by your flowers and the warmth of your friends!

  16. This looks simply delicious. Although, the weather is warmer, it is still cool enough here, for hot soup. Pumpkin has a delicious flavor to it.

    How are you feeling?

  17. Oh good, Lorraine! I hope you like them. :-) PERFECT cold weather food. :-)

  18. That's great, Beirut! :-) I'm so grateful for them. They cheer my life tremendously. :-)

  19. Thank you, Chaya. :-) I'm getting a bit better, thanks! Doc thinks it will be another 4+ weeks before I see major improvement. Can't wait! :-)

  20. gardenia! oh how i wish i could take a whiff of it right now! ;-)

  21. It's so heavenly, isn't it Lauryl?! Just amazing. :-)

  22. That soup looks incredibly good for you. I haven't done black beans from scratch, I need to hunt some out.

  23. It really is, Sarah, and the flavors work so well together. I just love it. :-)

  24. I love hearty soups. It drives me crazy that restaurants think strained is always better. When the weather inevitably gets cold again I am making this.

  25. Ohhh, me too, Deanna! I want REAL soups with all the bits and chunks and yummy-ness. :-)

  26. Krista what a gorgeous dish. Very Mondrian isn't it.

  27. Thank you, Barbara! Mondrian? I've never heard of it! Now I'll have to look it up. :-)