Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Everything is Pumpkin and Nothing Hurts

    Pumpkin is one sneaky gourd.

    It enters our lives innocuously, a giant slime-filled thing that shows up on the kitchen table once a year, to be carved and kept until rotting. But eaten? Never. Perish the thought.

    That is, until you look around one fall day and realize: pumpkin is everywhere. The collective obsession with it seems to reach a greater fever pitch year by year.

    Starbucks has marked the 10-year anniversary of the pumpkin spice latte with commemorative cup sleeves. Top Pot Doughnuts now offers a pumpkin flavor, though it commits the all-too-common sin of being too heavy on the spice and too light on the pumpkin. Trader Joe’s is even bringing back their seasonal pumpkin butter, which eliminates the middleman by giving consumers the opportunity to slather anything that might be egregiously pumpkin-less in the stuff.

    Yep: these great orange monstrosities, once so alien, are now abundantly appealing. I can think of no better way to take part in pumpkin season than with a bowl of this cumin-laced, black bean-studded pumpkin soup. Blending the black beans and tomatoes results in a deliciously smooth soup, but if you only have access to a resident hall kitchen, it’s fine to skip this step.

    Black Bean Pumpkin Soup
    Adapted from Smitten Kitchen, originally from Gourmet magazine

    Three 15 1/2 ounce cans black beans, rinsed and drained
    1 cup drained canned tomatoes, chopped
    1 3/4 cups chopped onion
    4 garlic cloves, minced
    1 heaping tablespoon ground cumin
    1 teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    1/2 stick butter
    4 cups beef or vegetable broth
    One 16-ounce can pumpkin puree

    In a food processor or blender coarsely puree beans and tomatoes (optional).

    In a 6-quart heavy kettle cook onion, garlic, cumin, salt, and pepper in butter over moderate heat, stirring, until onion is softened and beginning to brown. Stir in bean puree. Stir in broth and pumpkin until combined and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, 25 minutes, or until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Season with salt and pepper.

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