Oct 14

Black Bean Kabocha Soup

in Main Course, Recipes by Type, Soup & Stew

“Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.” –George Eliot

Autumn is my favorite time of year.  I love the crispness of the air, the scent of fires lit in fireplaces, the colors of the leaves and of the changing light, and the flavors that come with it all.  One of my favorite foods that is currently in season is kabocha (“kah-bow-cha”) squash.  The dark green rind hides a brilliant orangey golden flesh that is sweet and creamy when cooked.  I seem to be putting kabocha into everything these days because I can get it fresh from a local farm and so have a plentiful supply of it.  But it’s more than just supply–it’s because I love it. Even better is the fact that it is so good for you.  Kabocha is bursting with beta carotene.  It also provides vitamin C, iron, potassium, folic acid, calcium, and trace B vitamins.

 My aunt recently shared a recipe with me for Black Bean Pumpkin Soup. 
I decided to substitute homemade kabocha puree for the canned pumpkin puree because of the current pumpkin shortage.  Have you tried buying canned pumpkin lately?  It’s impossible to find around here!  But my main reason behind the substitution was really just another excuse to eat kabocha.
How To Make Kabocha Puree
First, wash the outside of the squash.  Then use a sturdy chef’s knife to carefully cut the squash in half.
Scoop out the seeds and stringy insides.  Cut the halves in half again and place the pieces rind side down in a steamer with sufficient water.  Turn the heat to high and steam for about 10 minutes, or until a fork can pierce through the green rind easily.
Remove the pieces to cool for several minutes.  When you can handle the pieces without burning yourself, carefully scoop the flesh away from the rind into a bowl.  Using a potato masher, mash the flesh until it is lump-free.
Now that you’ve got your kabocha puree all done and ready to go, it’s time for the soup.  The soup is rich and hearty, filled with all sorts of good and healthy ingredients and wonderfully satisfying on a chilly day.  The soup is garnished with sour cream and toasted pumpkin seeds.  It would also be delicious garnished with toasted pecans in place of the pumpkin seeds.
Black Bean Kabocha Soup
Makes 8 – 10 servings
3 (15.5 ounce) cans black beans (about 4 1/2 cups), rinsed and drained
1 cup drained canned tomatoes, chopped
1 1/4 cups chopped onion
1/2 cup minced shallot
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
4 cups beef broth
1 1/2 cups kabocha puree
3 to 4 tablespoons lime juice (optional)
Sour cream and coarsely chopped lightly toasted pumpkin seeds, to garnish
1. In a food processor, coarsely puree the black beans and the tomatoes. 
2. In a 6-quart heavy pot cook the onion, shallot, garlic, cumin, salt, and pepper in the butter over moderate heat, stirring, until the onion is softened and beginning to brown.  Stir in the bean puree and then stir in the beef broth and the kabocha puree until combined.
3. Simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 25 minutes, or until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
4. Just before serving, add the lime juice and simmer soup, stirring, until heated through.  Season soup with salt and pepper.  Serve the soup garnished with sour cream and toasted pumpkin seeds.

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Divina Pe October 14, 2009 at 6:54 pm

This looks really great. I love pureed soups and I will be making this one soon.


Kelsey B. October 14, 2009 at 7:13 pm

This looks delicious. I love fall too, the flavors are endlessly inspiring.


Amber October 14, 2009 at 7:19 pm

This looks delicious! I love your photos too, so bright and appetizing. Way to go Fuji Mama!


Anonymous October 14, 2009 at 9:02 pm

It looks wonderful! I can find plenty of pumpkin locally, but no kabocha. I bet it was yummy! A. Chris


Print Brochures October 14, 2009 at 10:47 pm

Nice! The soup looks really interesting. I love autumn too because I'm always amazed with the color of the leaves. Thank you for sharing this very cool post.:)


Jenn October 14, 2009 at 10:53 pm

Nice!!! A bowl of this with some bread. i think I should have gotten some kabocha while I was at the farmer's market.


Natalie October 14, 2009 at 11:13 pm

I love anything with black beans. This looks fantastic, and healthy too!


Ashley October 15, 2009 at 9:13 am

Oh, this looks divine! I loooove making soup and the weather just turned cool here. I will definitely try this one. Thanks!


Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite October 15, 2009 at 10:13 am

I just had kabocha for the first time a couple of weeks ago because it arrived in our organic box. This looks mighty good too – think we have another one coming tomorrow so have bookmarked this!


CinnamonQuill October 15, 2009 at 10:17 am

I've been trying to find kabocha because I don't believe I've ever tried it! I actually think the squash probably tastes better than the pumpkin (plus, *someone* in this house refuses to eat soups with pumpkin, he). This is definitely going on my November menu plan!


Mary October 15, 2009 at 10:31 am

I really like the way this recipe sounds and I really appreciated the visual on removing rind from the squash. A lot of folks don't know that's the easy way to do it. I hope you enjoyed the soup. I sure will.


Prudy October 15, 2009 at 12:04 pm

That's just gorgeous. Can't wait to try it!


Emily October 15, 2009 at 5:21 pm

This is sooo gonna get made. Everyting in it I like. Only I don't have a problem buying pumpkin puree here. Sugar pumpkins I'm having a problem finding. I like kobacha squash better though, so I'll probably go that route anyway. Have you tried turban squash? Yummy.


maybelle's mom October 15, 2009 at 7:43 pm

I love Kobucha squash. I just roasted it tonight and also used it to make chapatis. This soup looks yum too.


Michael [KyotoFoodie] January 16, 2010 at 8:53 pm

Ohh, this looks really yummy. Black beans and kabocha!

I would like to have this served in a kabocha!


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: