It’s 24 degrees outside. Time for soup. Now, soup is one of those things that I rarely even think about a recipe. I just make it with whatever happens to be in the house. Today, though, I was lacking inspiration, so I went over to Epicurious.

I typed in “Bean Soup” just for grins and giggles, and up came 267 recipes. After a few pages of browsing, my eyes hit upon Caribbean Pumpkin and Black Bean Soup. It sounded intriguing… But slightly boring…

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 15-ounce can pure pumpkin puree
  • 1 15-ounce can black beans, drained
  • 1 14-ounce can light unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 cup canned vegetable broth
  • 4 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  • 3/4 teaspoon grated lime peel

Stir cumin in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat 30 seconds. Add pumpkin, beans, coconut milk, broth and 3 tablespoons cilantro. Bring soup to boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 3 minutes to blend flavors. Mix in lime juice and lime peel. Season soup with salt and pepper.
Ladle soup into bowls. Sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon cilantro. Makes 2 servings; can be doubled.

So… with that in mind, I made

Tim’s Pumpkin and White Bean Soup

  • 2 boneless pork chops, diced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper with seeds, minced
  • 1 cup celery, diced
  • 4 carrots, diced
  • 2 leeks, cut into rings
  • 2 cans pumpkin
  • 1 qt chicken broth
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 2 cans white beans
  • 1/2 cup brown rice
  • 1/2 cup barley
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tsp jerk paste
  • a few splashes Tabasco
  • Salt and pepper

Pre-cook the rice and barley. Brown the vegetables and pork in a bit of oil. Add broth, pumpkin, and coconut milk and simmer until vegetables are tender. Add beans, rice, barley and a few splashes of tabasco, salt and pepper.

Heat through. Enjoy.

It was really good – juuuuust spicy enough – and perfect for this freezing weather!

And there’s Strawberry Bread Pudding for dessert!