Black Bean-Pumpkin Soup

Updated March 30, 2014… so today, I was looking through some blog pics and realized I made a terrible error! The soup that had been pictured here was NOT this wonderful Black Bean-Pumpkin Soup, but rather a Minty Tomato Soup. Whoops! Somehow I mixed up my labels. Sorry about that! This soup is still delish no matter how it looks, but I wanted to come back and make it right with you. :) Forgive me? 

Black Bean-Pumpkin Soup | thepajamachef.com

I hope you’re okay with another soup recipe this late in March! If you aren’t, look away. But be forewarned: you’ll miss some awesome soup. It was snowing in Nashville yesterday [not enough to stick, but still], so soup is entirely justified I think!

Black Bean-Pumpkin Soup | thepajamachef.com

Earlier in the year, my mom texted me a picture of her dinner: a delightful orange-y colored soup. I asked for the recipe and received a text with a picture of the recipe, which I immediately made for lunch the next day. Yay for iPhones and technology! :) That soup is the one before your very eyes now… a creamy, flavorful, filling Black Bean-Pumpkin Soup. I’ve made plenty of black bean and pumpkin soups in my day–but never together, and never this good. The soup is a cinch to throw together and definitely gets better as it sits. With just a hint of spice and a bit of sweetness, this soup is unlike any I have ever tasted. Next time I make it I will be sure to stock up on sour cream, green onions, and pumpkin seeds because the [unpictured] toppings are the very best part! Enjoy!

one year ago: Roasted Chickpea, Carrot, & Radish Salad with Lemon-Dijon Dressing
two years ago: Cinnamon Curry Tuna Wraps
three years ago: Fruit and Nut Granola Bars

Black Bean-Pumpkin Soup [slightly adapted from a magazine via my mom]
click to print

Ingredients:

  • 2 – 15 ounce cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 – 15 ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 2 cups loosely packed spinach
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil [STAR Fine Foods Grilling Cuisine Cooking Oil is what I used; extra virgin would also work]
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, deseeded [optional]
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3 cups chicken [or vegetable] broth
  • 1 – 15 ounce can pumpkin puree
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1-2 tablespoons molasses or bourbon [optional]
  • sour cream, for topping
  • sliced green onions, for topping
  • pumpkin seeds, for topping

Directions:

In a food processor, combine black beans, tomatoes, and spinach. Process until smooth.

In a Dutch oven, heat olive oil on medium. Add onions and jalapeno [if using] and cook until soft. Add garlic and cumin and cook for another minute, until fragrant. Then stir in broth, pumpkin, vinegar, and pepper. Bring to a boil then cover and reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes.

Remove from heat and stir in molasses if using, then serve with sour cream, green onions, and pumpkin seeds as desired.

Time: 35 minutes [15 minutes active].

Yield: 8 servings [about 2 quarts]

About these ads

Lightened Up Cheesy Sausage Grits Breakfast Casserole

Since moving South, Ben and I have been exposed to many new things. From language [y'all] to restaurants [meat and threes] to just a slower pace [though Nashville isn't quite as sloooow as other places in the South], life here is different. We love it here, but have become pretty proud of our Northern roots. Case in point: my birthday is coming up next month and I am begging Ben to get me a super sweet Indiana-shaped pendant necklace from an etsy shop. Gotta support Indiana from afar!! Though there are some areas/stereotypes of Southern culture that we don’t embrace, there is one MAJOR one that we do: the food! And what is more Southern than grits?

Lightened Up Sausage Cheese Grits Breakfast Casserole | thepajamachef.com

I actually [willingly] ate grits before moving to Nashville, but they are all over the place here, but these… oh my… THESE are the best I’ve ever had! It’s probably because they were made in the South. :) I don’t think it was the cheese that helped, do you?

Lightened Up Cheesy Sausage Grits Breakfast Casserole | thepajamachef.com

This breakfast casserole is a fun alternative to the traditional potato-based breakfast casserole. The leftovers fed us breakfast [and lunch and dinner] for days, which is absolutely wonderful for busy weekday mornings. Though it seems pretty funny to call this recipe “lightened up” because it’s so indulgent, it is light compared to many recipes.

Lightened Up Cheesy Sausage Grits Breakfast Casserole | thepajamachef.com

Serve this casserole with fruit, potatoes, toast, or any other traditional breakfast sides and I can guarantee you this meal will be absolutely devoured, day after day! It is so good. Enjoy!

one year ago: Lemon Cake with Lemon Curd Filling and Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting
two years ago: Crock Pot Honey Sesame Chicken
three years ago: Sweet and Spicy Peanut Soup

Lightened Up Cheesy Sausage Grits Breakfast Casserole [adapted from South Your Mouth]
click to print

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 1/4 cups quick-cooking grits
  • 1 pound breakfast sausage [regular or turkey]
  • 6 ounces extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 8 ounces skim milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional
  • 5 egg whites, beaten
  • 3 eggs, beaten

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Bring water and chicken broth to a boil in a large saucepan. Stir in grits and reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.

Brown sausage in a large skillet, breaking apart with a wooden spoon to crumble. Drain well and set aside.

Add cheese, milk, butter, garlic powder, paprika, and cayenne to the grits. Stir until the cheese melts, then stir in sausage and eggs/egg whites.

Pour mixture into a 9×13 baking dish. Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until golden and bubbly. A knife inserted in the center should come out clean. Let stand 15 minutes before serving.

Time: 90 minutes [20 minutes active].

Yield: 16 servings.

Notes: 6 whole eggs can be used instead of the 5 egg whites/3 egg combo that I chose. To make ahead, prepare casserole as directed then cover and refrigerate overnight. Let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes before baking as directed above.

Linked up with: Tuesday Talent Show.

Tasty Mexican Lentils

These lentils have no business being this good. No business at all. I mean, lentils aren’t exactly exciting food, now are they? Well, I think these lentils are. I seriously can’t get enough of them. I can’t remember where I saw this recipe linked originally, but I am so glad I did because they have become a new family favorite. Healthy, versatile, good, simple, delicious.

Tasty Mexican Lentils | thepajamachef.com

These lentils definitely support their “tasty” title. They are smooth and flavorful, a perfect vegetarian Mexican meal. You can make burritos or tacos or burrito bowls or nachos with them, or eat them by the spoonful. [Oh wait--that might just be what I do!] They’re a little reminiscent of pinto beans [maybe refried beans] texture-wise, but flavor-wise they are absolutely incredible!

Tasty Mexican Lentils | thepajamachef.com

In the recipe below, I suggest using red lentils. Brown or green lentils can certainly use used instead, but the cooking time may be different. Red lentils are just my fave–according to The Kitchn they are sweet and nutty. They also cook super fast, making these lentils a great weeknight dinner. I hope you give ‘em a try soon! P.S. Don’t skip the avocado or guac as a topping–avocado + lentils=looove!

Tasty Mexican Lentils | thepajamachef.com

Oh–before I forget! Ben loved this dinner too. He was a bit skeptical [tacos without meat?!?!] but was soon won over. I bet he’d even eat them on his birthday…which just so happens to be today! Yup, that’s right. He’s a St. Paddy’s Day baby. :) Cake recipe coming soooooon. It was so good. :) Happy Birthday to my love!

one year ago: Chipotle Black Bean Soup with Avocado Cream
two years ago: Alice’s Vanilla Tea-Infused Granola
three years ago: Roasted Tomato and Black Bean Soup

Tasty Mexican Lentils [from allrecipes.com]
click to print

Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • 2/3 cup onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2/3 cup dried red lentils, rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon taco seasoning
  • 1 2/3 cup chicken broth [or vegetable broth]
  • 2/3 cup salsa
  • tortillas or rice, for serving
  • lettuce, tomato, guacamole, avocado, sour cream, cheese, etc. for serving

Directions:

Heat oil in a skillet set over medium heat. Add onions and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in lentils and taco seasoning and cook for one minute.

Pour chicken broth into lentil mixture, then bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to low, simmering until lentils are tender [about 12-15 minutes].

Stir in salsa and heat uncovered, mashing slightly, until thickened [about 3-5 minutes].

Serve lentils in tortillas or over rice with desired toppings.

Time: 30 minutes.
Yield: 4 servings.

Linked up with: Tuesday Talent Show.

Menu Plan

Menu Plan | The Pajama ChefWeek of March 17
Monday: birthday meal leftovers! [french dip sandwiches]
Tuesday: tasty mexican lentils
Wednesday: spaghetti
Thursday: out to eat or something else with my parents :)
Friday: turkey burgers  or something else with my parents :)
Saturday: leftovers
Sunday: pizza