Pumpkin Black Bean Soup


How’s your weekend been?

Have you survived the cold?

I headed out for my final longish run yesterday morning. (T-minus 6 days!!!)

And, it was COLD!


But, not as cold as it was on Saturday when the wind was whipping away.

Thank goodness!

I honestly wasn’t sure I was going to get out for my run yesterday. I nearly had myself convinced that it was too cold and that I was going to bag it before I even went to bed on Friday.

I need to stop doing that to myself.

Besides, I was warm thanks to awesome running gear designed for cold weather. And cute. Because that’s totally a priority of mine. 😉


So, a couple of days ago, I posed this question on my Facebook page:

“So, if you had this can of pumpkin in your pantry, what would you do with it, excluding pumpkin pie and pumpkin bread?”


I got quite a few great responses (thanks!) and I definitely need to go buy some more pumpkin so I can try them all!

I decided to stay away from sweet – yeah, I’m pretty sure I ate my weight in sweet stuff in the month of December. :/

Well, I found an awesome recipe for Pumpkin Black Bean soup and just knew I had to make it.

I adapted it to our (which really means “my” – shhh, don’t tell) tastes though. Of course. I really only truly follow the recipe directions when I’m baking.

Except for when I don’t. Which is often. 😉

This soup was amazing!

soup bowl

Hearty, warm, savory yet sweet, spicy (don’t run! you can leave the spicy part out!), and perfect for a cold winter evening.

I decided to top the soup with avocado because, well, avocado is delicious and I thought the smooth freshness of the avocado would blend well with the savory and spice in the soup.

I was right. 🙂

Pumpkin Black Bean Soup
serves 4 to 6 (that means BIG bowls of soup!)
*recipe adapted from veryculinary.com

2 (15 ounce) cans low-sodium black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1/4 cup coconut oil (use butter if you don’t have coconut oil)
1 small onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4-1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
Avocado, for topping

1. Pour the black beans and tomatoes (including their liquid)into a food processor. Puree until smooth; set aside.

2. Heat coconut oil in Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook until onion is softened, about 5 minutes.

3. Stir bean and tomato puree and remaining ingredients into the pot; mix well. Simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary.

soup pot

4. Serve in large soup bowls topped with sliced avocado, if desired.


5. Om nom nom!

Talk to me: When it comes to weather, where do you draw the line when it comes to heading out the door for a run? What keeps you inside?

I personally don’t do thunderstorms, blizzards, or hail. The cold almost got me yesterday but, I still went out. (Glad I did, too!) But, I’m not sure what I would have done if the wind had still been whipping. Wind chill kinda sucks.

– jennifer

Running from a cold, eating Chipotle-Black Bean Soup

Hello, hello!

So, remember Tuesday when I ran really fast, unpacked loads of boxes and was really, really tired by the time I was making dinner?


Well, I woke up yesterday feeling a lot less tired but, as the day progressed, I was not feeling good at all.

Scratchy and sore throat, congestion, fatigue.


sick puppy

So, I tried to take it easy.  I didn’t do too much – except bake bread and make some really awesome Chipotle-Black Bean Soup.

But, hey, cooking isn’t hard work like unpacking boxes! And, I totally didn’t do any of that yesterday at all.

But, it’s hard to NOT want to make stuff in my awesome and cozy kitchen.


I totally love it so much!

Anyway, I drank plenty of water and some echinacea complete care tea and just rested my bod.


This morning?


Not better.

But, I decided I would still run (after a MAJOR argument with my lazy side) because I’m not running a fever and maybe I could sweat it out.

Welp. Fate intervened and I discovered that I’m missing a pair of running capris.

Not cold enough for full tights (for me, that’s weather below 32 degrees) and definitely not shorts weather (has to be over 50 degrees).

And, I decided that I’m not gross enough to wear a dirty pair so, I started the laundry and decided today would be a rest day with loads of fluid and Emergen-C consumption.

I’m also thinking some Hot and Sour soup would be a good thing. 🙂

I’ll cover some slow and easy miles tomorrow (probably not 8) and then hit my 16-miler on Saturday.

Now, I just need to figure out where that other pair of capris went.  Have you seen them?  How exactly could they just disappear?!

question mark


Anywho, let’s talk about that soup.

I absolutely love black bean soup.


And, you know how I feel about cooking things that take hours and make the house smell good.


I was browsing my Cooking Light Reader Favorites cookbook and saw the recipe for the black bean soup.

I have dried black beans!!!  And, dried peppers!!  Jackpot!!!

This soup was totally worth the time it took to cook.

Although, honestly, active time is barely anything.  The hardest part is waiting for it to cook because it smells So. Darned. Amazing. that you’re going to want to eat it before the beans are done.

Wait for it. Trust me.


The recipe calls for a dried chipotle chile which I didn’t have. I had dried Guajillo peppers so I used 2 of those instead and added 1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle chile pepper.

So. Delicious.


Chipotle-Black Bean Soup
Makes 4 servings

1 cup dried black beans (about 6 ounces)
1/2 cup boiling water
1 dried chipotle chile
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
2 cups water
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
1 (15.75-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 (10-ounce) can diced tomatoes and green chiles, undrained

2 (6-inch) corn tortillas, cut into 1/4-inch strips
Cooking spray
1/2 cup plain fat-free yogurt
1/4 cup (1 ounce) finely shredded reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese

1. To prepare soup, sort and wash beans; place in a large Dutch oven. Cover with water to 2 inches above beans; bring to a boil. Cook 2 minutes; remove from heat. Cover and let stand 1 hour. Drain.

2. Combine 1/2 cup boiling water and chipotle chile in a bowl; let stand 15 minutes or until soft. Drain, seed, and chop.

3. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion; saute 2 minutes or until tender. Add garlic; saute 1 minute. Add beans, chipotle chile, 2 cups water, oregano, cumin, and broth; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 3 hours or until beans are soft. Place 1 cup of soup in a blender; process until smooth. Return to pan. Stir in pepper and tomatoes; cook until thoroughly heated.

4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

5. To prepare toppings, place tortilla strips in a single layer on a baking sheet. Lightly coat tortilla strips with cooking spray. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes or until toasted. (Honestly, I skipped this part and we used tortilla chips. Lazy me won that argument.)

6. Ladle soup into each of 4 bowls; top with tortilla strips, yogurt, and cheese.

Calories 276; Fat 3.7g (saturated 1.2g, mono 1.4g, poly 0.7g); Protein 15.8g; Carbs 42.7g; Fiber 7.9g; Sodium 769mg

Questions: What are your go-to remedies when you’re not feeling well? How do you determine if you’re going to workout or rest when you’re under the weather?

– jennifer

Burgers with friends, a PT update & Chicken Fiesta Soup

Hello! Happy Friday!!

download (1)

Anyone have any exciting plans for the weekend? We’re hitting the blueberry festival! I seriously wait all year for this event. Me and blueberries – it’s eternal love. ♡

Sorry for being a bit late with today’s post. This is what happens when I stay up past my bedtime!


Between being up before the sun yesterday to go to CrossFit and then physical therapy in the afternoon, the fact that I was even able to stay awake while out to dinner with friends was amazing!

We went to McGuire’s Irish Pub and I had one of their burgers – the guacamole & Monterey Jack steak burger. YUM!


One of my friends had the Skippy Peanut Butter Burger. Yes, peanut butter. On a burger. I can see how it could be delicious but I’m definitely not brave enough to try it!


That’s a whole lotta peanut butter right there!

Okay, so, physical therapy. No running yesterday. 😦 I’m really just not ready. There’s still one spot on my sartorius that isn’t fully healed yet. It’s been reminding me that it’s there this whole week so taking it easy is definitely the right thing to do. I didn’t even spin bike this morning and that has nothing to do with the fact that I stayed out past my bedtime and was too tired to get out of bed this morning! I really just needed to rest it. I’m really reconsidering my goal of a BQ at Tupelo in September. We’ll see how I progress next week before I make a decision on what my realistic goals should be.

Because I stayed out so late – seriously, I was up for 19 hours yesterday! – I worked it out so I could come in to work late today. That gave me time to get dinner in the crockpot without being rushed! I’d already had it on my menu plan for the week but I didn’t have to prep the night before or run around super early in the morning trying to read the recipe with half-opened sleepy eyes. Sometimes, that makes for some interesting mistakes. Oops. What? Like you’ve never made a mistake or neglected to read a recipe the whole way through before you started? 🙂

Anyway, this dish couldn’t be any easier and it most definitely delicious! I know what you’re thinking. Soup? In the summer? (Technically, it’s still spring!) In 90 degree weather? Well, yes. Soup. Soup is YUM all the time. It’s comforting, it’s healthy (unless, of course, it’s cream based but that’s for another discussion), and it’s easy – especially when you have a crockpot and it does all the cooking for you. 🙂 And hey, you could totally go to the grocery store and buy a rotisserie chicken and shred that for this soup. Then, you wouldn’t even have to turn your oven on! See? I’m looking out for you. 🙂

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some soup to eat. Om nom nom!

How do you top your burger?

Soup in the summer? Yes! or No, thank you?


Chicken Fiesta Soup
makes 8 servings

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
1 can (about 14 ounces) stewed tomatoes, drained
2 cans (4 ounces each) chopped mild green chilies
1 can (28 ounces) enchilada sauce
1 can (about 14 ounces) chicken broth
1 cup finely chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
1 cup frozen corn
1 yellow squash, diced
1 zucchini, diced
8 tostada shells, crumbled
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese

1. Combine chicken, tomatoes, chilies, enchilada sauce, broth, onion, garlic, cumin, chili powder, salt, pepper, cilantro. corn, squash, and zucchini in slow cooker. Cover and cook on LOW 8 hours.

2. Ladle soup into bowls; garnish with crumbled tostada shells and cheese.

3. Om nom nom!


– jennifer