- 1 - container of Trader Joe's Mirepoix (about 1 cup each of chopped celery, onion, and carrot)
- 1 - 15 oz can of black beans, drained and rinsed free of bean goo
- 1 - 15 oz can of petite diced tomatoes
- 1 - 15 oz can of pumpkin puree
- 1/2 pouch of Trader Joe's Beluga Lentils (about 1 cup)
- 1 large can or box of broth (chicken, beef, or vegetable)
- olive oil
- cooked bacon
- Penzey's spices a-plenty (I used loads of cumin, smokey blends, green blends, and finally, some roasted schezwan pepper salt of my own blend)
Coat the bottom of the stock pan with a quick swirl of olive oil. Add the entire container of mirepoix, or, 1 cup each of chopped celery, onion, and carrot (assuring the carrot is a small dice). Add several garlic cloves, chopped cooked bacon (I used three slices of pre-cooked, cold bacon, snipped with scissors into small bits), a good handful of spices (I used loads of cumin and several blends from Penzey's) and saute all until the onion is tender, the bacon has rendered a little fat, but the garlic has not browned.
Add the can of tomatoes, stir, and bring just to a simmer.
Add the drained black beans, stir, and bring back to a simmer.
Add the can of pumpkin puree, stir, and bring back to a simmer.
Using a stick blender, gently pulse about half of the veggies in the pan. I like some texture, so I wanted some pureed until they were pulpy, but left most of intact.
Begin to add some stock to cover the veggies, and bring back to a simmer. Continue to add stock in increments until the flavor and texture is as you like it.
Add 1 cup of fully cooked lentils. I used tiny black "Beluga Lentils" which are from Trader Joe's and fully cooked.
Simmer the soup, adding or adjusting spices as you do so. Taste about a thousand times because you can't believe how tasty this combination is.
Finally, to finish, add a healthy splash (perhaps a 1/3 of cup for me) of California Sherry.
Serve as you wish, topped with croutons, or served with cornbread, or even a dollop of sour cream would be lovely. This was a really low-fat soup, combined a few SuperFoods (I'm trying to consume several each day, in this case lentils and pumpkin), was a snap to make, and, most of all was economical -- my canned items came from the dollar store (the stock, the pumpkin, the tomatoes, and the bleans).