An old favorite and a new favorite

For week 4 of SCL, I went back to an old favorite, Pumpkin and Black Bean Soup.  My sister first introduced me to this recipe while I was in undergrad, and it was a trusty stand-by for many years.  I must have overdosed on it at some point because I haven’t made it in years, but it’s a great, easy recipe.  This also seemed to be hugely popular, so I recommend it for a crowd!

Pumpkin Black Bean Soup

Serves about 25

Adapted from Rachael Ray

  • 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 8 cups vegetable stock (1 32oz box)
  • 3 cans (14.5oz) diced tomatoes in juice
  • 3 large cans (28oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3 large cans (28oz) pumpkin puree
  • 4-5 Tbsp curry powder
  • 6 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • greek yogurt, sour cream or heavy cream (optional)

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.  Add diced onion and sauté until softened.  Add vegetable stock, pumpkin, tomatoes, and beans.  Stir to combine and bring to a boil.  Add the spices and allow to simmer for 20 minutes.  Adjust seasonings to taste.   Add a dollop of yogurt, sour cream, or heavy cream before serving.

I served this soup with salad, rolls with garlic-herb butter, and Banana Muffin Top Cookies.

For the Garlic-Herb butter combine one stick softened butter with 1-2 cloves garlic (I used a garlic press) and herbs of your choice (I like basil and parsley).  Use an electric mixer until well combined.  Scoop the butter onto seran wrap and roll into a log.  Allow to harden in the freezer or the refrigerator.

For dessert I tried out a new cookie recipe, that I absolutely adore!  They’re not too sweet and are rather cake-y, like a muffin top instead of a cookie.  The cardamom really adds something special to these cookies!  The original recipe is for a whoopie pie with a peanut butter-nutella filling, but I liked the cookies so much on their own that I haven’t made the filling.

Banana Muffin Top Cookies

Makes about 2 dozen cookies

Adapted from Crepes of Wrath

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 larges eggs, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cups ripe bananas, mashed (2 medium bananas)

Preheat oven to 350°F.  In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardamom.  In a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy, at least 3 minutes.  Add in the egg and beat until fully incorporated.  Add in the vegetable oil, vanilla, and bananas.

Gradually mix in the dry ingredients, until just combined.  Scoop the batter onto greased cookie sheets and bake for 12-15 minutes, until edges start to brown and tops are springy.

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