New York Times best-selling author, slow cooking expert, mom of three
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A Year of Slow Cooking

Monday, October 20, 2008

CrockPot Pumpkin Black Bean Soup Recipe


Day 294.

This soup recipe has been floating around the Internet the past few weeks----Yahoo linked to it on their front page as a good Halloween night dinner to eat before trick-or-treating. I had planned on making this soup anyway but last week I got a few emails pointing it out again, so I pushed it up a few days.

This weekend,
Denise posted a pumpkin soup roundup on BlogHer and shared that Smitten Kitchen made a version of pumpkin black bean soup, which really inspired me to get cracking (those Smitten Kitchen people? They work with Martha. They know their stuff.)

So I did.

I made this soup.

I made 6.5 quarts of it.
Anyone want any? Because it's still sitting here.

We didn't like it.

At all. It sort of made us gag. We gave it a valiant effort, and I even let it sit overnight, because a lot of times soup tastes better the next day.


This didn't.

The Ingredients.

adapted from All Recipes

--3 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
--1 can tomatoes and chilies (Rotel)
--1 tsp salt
--1/2 tsp black pepper
--4 cloves chopped garlic
--4 cups gluten free beef broth
--1 can (15 oz) pumpkin puree
--1 small yellow onion, chopped (didn't make it into the picture)

--1/4 cup sherry
--2 T butter
--crumbled bacon or cooked ham (optional, to add at end of cooking time)
--sour cream to garnish (optional)


The Directions.


I used a 6.5 quart crockpot. If you attempt this soup (you really shouldn't), use at least a 5 quart.

Chop up all the onion and garlic and add to the pot. Dump in the black beans.
I used my homemade black beans!
Add the whole can of cooked pumpkin and the beef broth.
Stir in the salt and pepper. It seems like a lot of salt, but you're not going to end up eating it, anyway.

Add a pat of butter.


Cover and cook on low for 8 hours, or on high for 4. Stir well. If desired, use an immersible blender to puree about half of the soup. I did do this. If you don't have an immersible blender, scoop out about 2 cups and blend carefully in your stand mixer.


If desired, add crumbled bacon or diced ham.

Garnish with sour cream (this was the best part).


The Verdict.


The kids made me open a window in the kitchen and light a candle while this was cooking.

Adam and I tried twice to eat it, and we were not pleased. It reminded us of hot V-8 juice, which we both despise.

After I made it, I read all of the reviews on All Recipes. The positive reviewers added things like salsa, cumin, chili powder, and coriander. I wish I had, too. A few of the reviewers mentioned liking a Jamaican pumpkin soup. I do have a recipe for that, which I think I'll give whirl this week.

41 comments:

Erin Phillips said...

I am so sorry that this didn't work out for you. But this didn't really sound all that good to me. Good luck next time.

Erik said...

The sherry seems out of place in this recipe. I would suggest a bit of cumin and brown sugar instead.

The Wilsons said...

I really like Rachel Ray's version of a Pumpkin and black bean soup. It has curry, cumin, and CREAM! Otherwise it is fairly similar to yours, but everyone that has tried mine has really like it I think. Here it is: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/rachael-ray/pumpkin-and-black-bean-soup-recipe/index.html

Sewing N WV said...

Like your Butternut Squash Soup?? Use the same recipe and substitute pumpkin for the squash.

Little Ol' Liz said...

It's so refressing to read an honest opinion of a recipe that just didn't work. Thank you for that.

I think your reader's suggestions for improvements sound on par. I hope you find something that works.

Barrie said...

I like that you still post the recipe and what you did even if it didn't work!!

Shari said...

i second what the Wilsons said about Rachel Ray's recipe http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/rachael-ray/pumpkin-and-black-bean-soup-recipe/index.html
my daughter brought this to a pot luck and they licked the crockpot clean.
just adapt it by chopping onions small and starting them in the crock on high while you prep the rest, cut back to low, and add the cream at the end.
However, you should wait until your memory of this disastrous soup has faded before you try again.
And no puree-ing on this one.

wyndesnow said...

Sorry to say that it didn't sound good from the beginning of the post. It would not be one that I try. I however, have been trying a few of your recipes over the last few weeks and have found a few that we liked a few that flopped for us. Thanks for sharing.

Heather said...

At least you got to use your own black beans. I'm trying baked beans today and going to see how they freeze up.

Mandy said...

I really wanted you to like this recipe, so I could try it, because it sounds healthy, fallish, and yummy. I definately won't be trying it now, though. . .I really love you blog, though, as I use my crockpot at least 3 times per week. I have a great crockpot stuffed bell pepper recipe on my recipe blog using ground turkey, brown rice, zucchini if you're interested!

Ann said...

Dear Stephanie:

I like Rachel Ray's Pumpkin Soup recipe, with the apple/cranberry topping. Have served it for the past 3 Thanksgivings, and when I mentioned I might change this year, just about had a riot on my hands. I don't know if its adaptible to a crock pot, though.

Thanks for sharing all your triumphs and failures. I work full time, and have a 16 year old and a 4 year old, so I don't have much time to cook. We aren't especially fond of stews, but like soups, so I'm glad the weather is finally turning. I've just discovered this site, and hope you make another, similar New Year's Resolution for 2009. Until then, I'm using the index at the beginning of your blog. Is there any way you can post a link to the index on the blog page, so I can access it more easily? Thanks.

Joanna said...

Ehh I think everyone's going nuts with pumpkin. I mean, pumpkin should taste good with everything, right? haha What on earth are you gonna do with all that soup?

Christine said...

This is why I love your blog. The people who won't admit their food occasionally makes them want to order Chinese are just passing off horrible recipes on the rest of us.

Your coconut beef is in my crockpot today, by the way---can't wait 'til dinner!

mommadisco said...

Sadness.. The name sounded tasty. Then again, I'm a pumpkin junkie so anything with that makes me excited.

Becca said...

I'm sorry you didn't like this. IT is one of my favorite soups! I have adjusted the recipe a little though. I use 1 tablespoon of cider vinegar instead of the sherry. It adds a little kick, but not a lot. I don't use nearly that much butter, and I do not add the ham. I add half of the can of pumpkin puree and save the rest for another batch later. Cumin is definitely a must. And if you finish it with some lime juice and cilantro, I think it is to die for. I'm really sad you didn't like it.

Sharon - Mom Generations said...

I LOVE YOUR BLOG!! I was Tweeting this morning about crock-potting, and @amyjbennett sent me to your site. I am a mom and a grandma, I work with my two adult daughters from my home, and I ALWAYS have somethin' cookin' in my crock pots (yes, plural!). I will definitely be back... often!

Crockpot Lady said...

Erik, I agree. Pumpkin needs brown sugar.

the Wilsons, Shari, and Ann, I didn't know that RR had a pumpkin soup recipe. Thank you so much for alerting me!

Becca, I think I WOULD have liked it if I had added the ingredients you listed---cumin, lime juice, and cilantro is a pretty awesome trifecta.

Sharon, I love it that you're a tweeting grandma! I need to embrace the tweeting one of these days.

xoxox
steph

Anonymous said...

oh wow, crockpot lady, you saved me from a horrible fate and smell. the black bean soup is a definite pass-up item, but i absolutely love your honesty when things just don't come out right. that takes nerve. cheers for you. most people just never seem to admit that anything goes wrong...ever..they are always, always, right..and perfect. Carry on girl!!!

Melissa said...

Crazy coincidence! I decided to try one of those pumpkin black bean soups this week and that recipe you tried is one of the ones I considered. I ended up actually going with this one instead after fretting over how little seasoning the other one had. But I kept wondering - so I'm sorry you have all the leftovers but glad you let us know. I'll try to make a mental note to let you know how the other one turns out. Maybe it was just a yucky recipe and another one would seem better. <3

Elizabeth-W said...

Thanks for being honest. I love that.
Also, finally made the applesauce chicken last night and my kids loved it. I did drain some of the liquid off and stirred in a half-cup of light sour cream before serving, though :)

Amie said...

That's what you get for cookin' with pumpkin guts.

Let this be a lesson to you. ;)

Stephanie said...

I love that you're so honest, and that you post flops as well as successes. Sometimes recipes just don't work! That Jamaican soup sounds promising, hope it works out better for you. :-)

Our Scoop said...

Hilarious! I am amazed because you seem to like everything! I am so impressed by your tastebuds. That's how I felt when I made the hot and sour soup. I thought that the bamboo shoots smelled like pee. And that's all I smelled all day while it was cooking!!

Welcome to our nest said...

I just love how honest you are. I definitely won't be making this one. I'll keep an eye out for any other pumpkin soup recipes from you.

ka1t_lyn said...

Thank you for being so darn honest.. I like that I can come here and read your real reviews of food. Instead of seeing "Oh everything I cook is amazing!" you tell us the truth-- yay!

The Rachel Ray recipe mentioned above sounds yummier to me than this one. I'd never though of mixing pumpkin soup and black beans before, but honestly I am not sure I want to try it.

Jennifer said...

I love your recipes. I'm vegetarian and I can adapt them so easily, if they are not already meatless.

I've followed your blog for most of the year. I love it!

I tagged you over at one of my blogs, if you'd like to play along.

http://www.spiritualparentingto4.blogspot.com

JenX67 said...

what an awesome site. love it. and, i love my crock pot, too.

The Bear and The Bug said...

Thanks so much for giving an honest review of this. I love your site!

Anita Hampl said...

@Amie: that reminds me of a recent Rhumes with Orange comic strip, where the witches were serving Toasted Pumpkin Brains (seeds)!

@Stephanie: I love how you continued with the instructions, with your warnings against making it becoming subtly stronger each time. I especially loved your comment about the salt: "you're not going to end up eating it anyway".

Thanks for your bravery and refreshing honesty!

Anonymous said...

Libby's has a great pumpkin soup recipe- sorry, no black beans. But it has curry, which of course completely makes up for it. =)

Stefunkc said...

Oh, the mother ship is calling me home! A Crock Pot blog! How have I lived my life without this in it until now? Had Teriyaki Chicken out of my Crock Pot just tonight. Can't wait to read all your recipes!

Fortress of Awesome said...

You could probably salvage your black beans by putting the whole mess in a larger-holed colander and rinsing it well in the sink! The pumpkin part would wash off and you'd be left with your tasty beans :)

I saved 2 pounds of browned ground beef this way when making a sauce that turned out crummy -- I rinsed it in HOT water in the sink and got all the bad flavor off it, it saved $17 worth of grass fed beef :)

CraftyFox said...

Hi Steph,
This is my first comment but I LOVE this blog, have passed on the link to all my cooky friends and have done loads of recipes (the cabbagey, sausagey, apple cidery thing - wow!)where I can get the ingredients in the UK.

Our favourite pumpkin soup recipe is this one - a Southwestern recipe: http://www.mom-mom.com/southwestern_pumpkin_soup.htm
which we do a few times every autumn, especially for parties. It's creamy and spicy and awesome.

I've put sherry in black bean soup in the past and it's pretty good, although I prefer lemon juice so I suspect it's the pumpkin-sherry combo which doesn't work.

Thanks for an honest review - saves us all some time and wasting good food!

Karen said...

Eww. Pumpkin is for sweet dishes, not savory. Every year I wonder why the cooking magazines go nuts trying to put pumpkin in vegetable dishes, meat stews, and soups.

tchrbev said...

So sorry you did not like the recipe. I tried the black bean and pumpkin chili from the current issue of Taste of Home. I am not usually a fan of pumpkin, but this was surprisingly yummy!

Thanks for all the recipes (and the fabulous commentary).

Bev

Corrie said...

I read the title out loud to DH and he was like "That sounds great!" Then... I read the rest of the post to him. Needless to say, if Steph doesn't like, I won't spend my time and energy making it! I really appreciated the honest opinion!!

Mschvs said...

I, too, had a sad experience like this one, just last week! I had made a few pumpkin pies and had some pumpkin stuff left over. And I figured the hubby and I wouldn't eat more than two by ourselves. :) So I searched around and found a recipe for pumpkin soup and was so excited to try it that I went and bought all the ingredients I didn't already have in my kitchen, including the only bottle of carrot juice I could find (it's HUGE!). I also made the soup, hated it, saved it until the next day to give it a second chance, hated it even more, and dumped it. And I figured that, since I had pured the whole silly thing that I would dump it down the drain instead of filling my trash with liquid. And I promptly clogged the main line for our entire house. I think next time I'll just make some pumpkin bars or another pie and give them away. And also, I have no idea what to do with the rest of this carrot juice. I'll positively turn ORANGE if I injest it all.

Merry said...

I like the honest approach! I'll avoid this recipe. (I loved the basic cook-beans-and-freeze-em post from the other day.)

p.s. I do like your blog! Honest! :)

Jessica said...

Thanks for posting it and your honest reaction. I have seen quite a few pumpkin (or sweet potato) recipes with beans. I tried a burrito with sweet potato and beans and it was ... meh.

With so many recipes pairing the two flavors... gotta be some winners out there!

Paula at lakeschooling@fitzgibbons.info said...

So, not having read the verdict before starting, I made this...but I eliminated the sherry (a weird ingredient for this) and added cumin and cinnamon. Every member of my family gobbled it up and took seconds. It must have been the sherry. I also used a salt-free vegetarian broth and did not add salt (I like to add salt to food after serving).

I love your blog. We are a gluten-free (dd and dh), vegetarian, very busy homeschooling family of 5 and your blog has revived my relationship with my crockpots.

lilibethsgarden said...

I actually tried this recipe (minus the sherry and bacon/ham - didn't have any) and added lots of spices and it turned out pretty good!

I've dusted off my crock pot and it's now got tonight's supper almost done (scalloped potatoes with salmon). I'll be back here for your great recipes!

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