I was digging through my cookbook...which is actually a huge binder, jam-stuffed with loose recipes (and some actually inserted into the binder). It's a total mess (and here is a photo for you). Anyway, I came across a recipe I made for the first Halloween party my husband and I hosted (in 2007--the year we met, aww, how sweet). It is for Black Bean and Pumpkin soup...which might sound weird to you at first, but it was SO darn tasty...and it also looks really cool served at a Halloween party. Although you an obviously serve it anytime. It's a great, hearty soup for autumn. It's also super-easy to make and so healthy for you.
3 (15 oz) Cans Black Beans, Rinsed and Drained
1 (16 oz) Can Diced Tomatoes
2 Tbsp. Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
3 Tbsp.Minced Onion (or Chopped Onion, again, given my aversion, I go with minced)
3 Tbsp. Minced Garlic
1/2 tsp. Black Pepper
3 1/2 - 4 Cups Beef Broth (Sodium-Free)
1 (15 oz.) Can Pumpkin Puree
1/2 Lb. Ham, Cut Up (You can use either slices and cut into 1-2" squares, or buy a hunk of ham and cut into 1" cubes--your choice)
3 Tbsp. Sherry Vinegar
1. In a large bowl, use your immersion blender to puree 1/2 the beans and the tomatoes. If you don't have an immersion blender (then go get one!), then you can just puree the beans/toms in your blender or food processor.
2. Heat your crockpot to low heat. Add in all of the ingredients, including the bean puree. (Aside: is it weird that EVERY time I say/write "all of the ingredients," I get all excited--given my blog title? Ok, yes, it is weird, weirdly nerdy).
3. Stir until well-combined, cover, and heat for 2-3 hours, or until hot and slightly thickened.
Serve immediately, topped with a dollop of sour cream (if you prefer), and Enjoy!