Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Pumpkin, Turkey, Bean and Bean and Beany Bean Soup

Black bean and pumpkin soup from Gimme Some Oven, was a great idea for dinner...on paper. I made this soup back when we were having a cold snap. The only thing that sounded good was soup and I was getting tired of the usual soups in the dinner rotation.

Several new soup recipes were presented to Mrblocko, and he chose this one after I told him I planned to add some crumbled Italian turkey sausage. What I should have done was adjust the amount of beans. The soup was super thick with 3 cans of beans and a pound of that turkey sausage.

I've mentioned Blockette's chewing issues in the past. There are certain foods that seem to cause her to relapse. Right now, beans are number one on that list. I forgot that little tidbit when I served this soup. I guess I should be happy that her previous episode was about 6 months ago. It's just always so frustrating when there is a regression.

Part of her problem with beans is that she psychs herself up anticipating a problem. It just adds fuel to the fire. We have overcome many other "trigger"foods in the past few years. For example, potatoes used to be a huge problem. It was their mushy interior that choked her up. She didn't have an issue with fries or hash browns. I slowly gave her thicker and thicker cut fries. Eventually she was able to eat mashed and baked potatoes. It was just a matter of her learning how to "chew" something that was not crunchable. Beans, if you think about it, are similar in mushy texture, only thicker.

I'm still working on a way to incorporate beans into her diet so she doesn't continue to have issues. Sure, I could just stop serving them to her all together, but I know that we can get past this bean chewing/non-chewing problem. I've tried mashing them up but that caused the same problem. She saw the black skins and knew they were there and got scared. If I could get her to stop being scared of beans that would be the first step. Once, I told Blockette the beans were magic fairy eggs. She wasn't buying into that schpeel. She just gave me the stink eye and very seriously and sternly said, "No, mom. They are beans." She is getting too clever for cheater tactics like that.

When we had leftovers, I wanted to make sure there wasn't an underlying issue with Blockette not liking the soup. I picked out all the beans in her portion. She had no troubles eating the beanless soup, and even said it was tasty. Now that I know Blockette likes the base of the soup, I don't have any qualms about making it again. I'll only use 1 can of beans along with the turkey sausage. I'll also add a can of corn so the soup has a bit more substance. Who knows, the corn may even be a distraction for the small amount of beans in the soup. (Hey, let me live in my fantasy world. Don't pop my dream bubble.) Oh, I also think the soup would be even more flavorful if I swapped fire roasted tomatoes for the regular kind.

Pumpkin and Black bean soup from Gimme some Oven
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
3 cans (15 1/2 oz.) black beans, rinsed and drained (about 4 1/2 cups)
1 cup drained canned tomatoes, chopped
4 cups beef broth
1 can (16 oz.) pumpkin puree (about 1 1/2 cups)
1/2 cup dry Sherry (or other dry white wine)
Garnish: sour cream and/or lightly toasted pumpkin seeds

In a 6-quart heavy kettle cook onion, garlic, cumin, chili powder, and pepper in oil over moderate heat, stirring, until onion is softened and beginning to brown. Stir in black beans, tomatoes, broth, pumpkin, and Sherry until combined and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, 25 minutes, or until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. If you’d like a more chili-like consistency, serve as is. To puree, use an immersion blender to either partly or completely puree the hot soup. Or, puree the soup in a regular blender, working in batches. (Be careful not to fill too full, since the soup is hot!) Serve soup garnished with sour cream and toasted pumpkin seeds.

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