The smoky heat of the chipotles adds a spark to the hearty goodness of black beans. Pumpkin or any winter squash is a wonderful complement to black beans. I make spicy black bean soup and butternut squash soup and puree each separately. To serve, I pour them simultaneously into each bowl. This one soup captures these twin flavors quickly and easily.

Yield: 2 large or 4 small servings

1 15-ounce can black beans, undrained

1 14 1/2 –ounce can chicken broth, preferably low sodium

1 cup onion, chopped (1 large onion)

1/2 teaspoon chipotle chile powder

1 15-ounce can pumpkin

1 to 2 teaspoons ground cumin


Optional garnishes: 2 tablespoons sour cream, 1 lime cut into wedges

1. In a heavy, 2-quart saucepan, combine the beans, broth, onion, chile, and pumpkin; bring to a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes, or until the onion softens.

2. Transfer the mixture to a blender or food processor and whirl until thick and smooth. Return to the pan and add 1 teaspoon of the cumin; taste to determine of you desire the remaining cumin or salt.

3. Serve in bowls. If desired, garnish with a squeeze of lime, a dollop of sour cream, and a sprig of cilantro.

Per Serving (1/4 recipe): Calories 143, Protein 9 g, Carbohydrates 26 g, Fiber 10 g, Fat 2 g, Saturated Fat 1 g, Cholesterol 2 mg, Sodium 381 mg.

Reprinted with permission from “Jane Butel’s Quick and Easy Southwestern Cookbook”.

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