Try this recipe for quick black bean soup with pumpkin swirl. Served with a side of herbed cheese crackers, you'll get a hearty, veggie-filled meal. Enjoy this healthy black and orange dish before heading out for the Halloween festivities. The cheesy baked crisps are made with almond flour, for a low-carb cracker alternative with no grains. Who can resist a warming bowl of soup and crackers once the weather turns chilly?
I’m continuing with the pumpkin-themed offerings this week with a tasty entrée of quick black bean soup with a pumpkin swirl. I first fell in love with swirled soups on an autumn trip to northern New Hampshire. The colorful fall leaves and a bowl of flavorful pumpkin and beet swirled soup were two of my favorite things from that trip.
Back at home, I wanted to recreate the swirled soup experience, using black beans instead of beets for additional protein. I quickly learned that the thickness of the soup matters when you are swirling two flavors together. If your soups are too thin, you’ll wind up with a cloudy marbling effect instead of neat swirls.
If you have a bit of an artistic flair, you could go all out with this one. Top the pumpkin soup with a spider web of black bean soup. As an alternative, draw a jack-o-lantern in the black bean soup with the pumpkin soup.
I’m still working on my food artistry, so I took a simpler route. I dropped spoonfuls of pumpkin soup into the black bean soup and swirled it with a butter knife. It’s not as flashy as some of the decorative options mentioned above, but it still works.
Let’s talk about the cheesy, herby crackers
You are technically getting three recipes in one post today. One recipe for the black bean soup, one for the pumpkin soup, and one for the crackers. Did I mention that I’m dishing this one up with a side of cheese crackers?
The herbed cheese crackers are a bit of an indulgence adapted from the Fat Head pizza dough recipe. I made this crust once and found it delicious. My family agreed that this crust (named for the Fat Head documentary) was pretty darn tasty.
The downside of the Fat Head crust is that I did not find it to be more satiating than a whole grain pizza crust. With all of the cheese and almond flour, it was not lower in calories than a whole grain crust either. (I know many people do find this recipe to be more satiating than a grain flour crust, so this is another case of YMMV.)
One final negative regarding the Fat Head crust was that it was crispier than I like. I thought this characteristic might be better suited to crackers, so I decided to experiment. It worked out well; the addition of some extra herbs and cheese made a lovely cracker to go with the soup.
So, here’s the deal. The crackers (almost) double the calorie count on this meal, and I’d choose to skip them if I were looking to lose weight. For those who find them extremely satiating or those with higher calorie needs, I’d recommend trying them out.
They are so tasty, and the herbs will fill your home with a wonderful fragrance while they bake. They were a big hit with my family, who would have loved a double batch. Enjoy these three recipes, and have a Happy Halloween!
And now for the disclaimer…
All recipes on this website may or may not be appropriate for you, depending on your medical needs and personal preferences. Consult with a registered dietitian or your physician if you need help determining the dietary pattern that may be best for you.
The calorie information is an estimate provided as a courtesy. It will differ depending on the specific brands and ingredients that you use. Calorie information on food labels may be wildly inaccurate, so please don’t sweat the numbers too much.
For more information on how the three recipe levels may help with a weight management goal, refer to this post. Let’s get cooking!
Swirled Black Bean and Pumpkin Soup with Herbed Cheese Crackers
For the herbed cheese crackers:
- 8 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese (227 grams)
- 3 tablespoons whipped cream cheese
- 1 egg
- ¾ cup almond flour
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon dried sage
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon dried rosemary
For the black bean soup:
- ½ cup onion, chopped
- 2 medium Roma tomatoes, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 1 jalapeno, chopped
- 1 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cans black beans, drained (15 ounces/425 grams per can)
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ cup sour cream
For the pumpkin soup:
- ½ cup onion, chopped
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 can pumpkin (15 ounces/425 grams)
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon dried ginger
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- 1 cup chicken broth (optional, as needed for thinning soups)
To make the herbed cheese crackers:
- Preheat the oven to 425°F (218°C). Melt the mozzarella cheese and cream cheese together. (I used a microwave.)
- Mix the rest of the cracker ingredients into the cheese mixture until well-combined. I found that it was easiest to do this with my clean hands.
- Press the cracker dough out into a very thin rectangle of even thickness on a baking tray that was covered with parchment paper. The dough stuck to my rolling pin, so I found it easiest to spread the dough out with wet hands.
- Prick the surface of the dough with the tines of a fork.
- Bake for 7 minutes. Remove from oven and use a pizza cutter to cut the crackers into squares.
- Flip the crackers and bake for an additional 7 minutes.
- Remove the crackers from the oven and let them cool a bit while you make the soups.
To make the black bean soup:
- Using a medium-sized pot, sauté the tomatoes, garlic, onion, and jalapeno in the oil until soft.
- Stir in the drained black beans, cumin, oregano, and black pepper. Heat them to a simmer.
- Puree the black bean mixture in a food processor with the sour cream. Add some chicken broth if desired to thin the soup. (I chose not to.)
- Distribute the black bean soup between four bowls and keep warm while you prepare the pumpkin soup.
To make the pumpkin soup:
- In a small pot, sauté the onion in the butter until soft.
- Stir in the pumpkin and spices. Heat the mixture while stirring continuously.
- Puree the pumpkin mixture in a food processor with the heavy cream. Add some chicken broth if desired to thin the soup. (I chose not to.)
- Drop spoonfuls of the pumpkin soup into the bowls of black bean soup and gently swirl them together with a butter knife. Don't worry if it doesn't look perfect. It will still taste delicious!
- Serve the soup with a side of the herbed cheese crackers. Yum!
This is a level 3 recipe (weight maintenance and active lifestyles). Even though this meal is packed with healthy foods, it is not a light entrée option by any means. I recommend skipping the crackers and sticking with the soup if you want to bump this meal down to level 1. A serving of the crackers (333 kcal) has nearly as many calories as a serving of the soup (374 kcal). If you find cheese and nuts to be satiating and vegetable soups not so much, you may need a different strategy. Composing your meals with the healthful foods that you find filling may help you to meet a fat loss goal. There is no one “right” way to eat, so please experiment a bit to find what works for you.
Have you tried the Fat Head pizza crust recipe? Do you have any secrets to making the perfect swirled soup? Let me know in the comments below!