Recipe: Autumnal Black Bean & Pumpkin Soup (with Sweet Carrot Bread)

As the weather becomes increasingly chilly, what better way to spend your time, than wrapped up in copious layers with a bowl of hot soup? The presentation for this one is just a fun bonus! It occurred to me it would be a fun idea for a dinner party. Your guests could carve their pumpkin bowls into spooky designs after polishing off the soup.

Cheap, filling and easy to make nutritious – what’s not to like about soup. This pumpkin and black bean recipe is super filling and bursting with protein. The carrot bread is the perfect accompaniment too. Swapping water for carrot juice felt like a huge gamble, but it turned out beautifully. The carrot gave the dough a subtle orange-y, yelllow glow, which was aided by a sprinkling of turmeric.

For the cream to thin out the soup, I used Alpro but I’ve recently discovered Elmlea’s vegan double cream. Elmlea is the better choice for a richer flavour. The final touch on this recipe? A sprinkling of mild curry powder over the soup bowls before serving. It just gives the dish a little kick to your first spoonful.

Makes 4 generous bowls.


For the bread –

  • 500g strong white bread flour
  • 300ml carrot juice
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 7g fast action yeast
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

For the soup –

  • 750ml stock
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 white/yellow onions
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 parsnips
  • 1 potato
  • 115g pumpkin (pre-cooked)
  • 1x 440g tin of black beans
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 sticks of celery
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Vegan cream
  • Mild curry powder (optional)


  1. Prep the dough for the bread first. Begin by adding 500g of flour, two teaspoons of salt and 7g of yeast to a mixing bowl. Mix together well.
  2. Create a well with your fingers in the middle of the flour mixture and add two tablespoons of olive oil and 300ml of carrot juice. Combine this until you’ve formed a smooth round ball of dough. Sprinkle one teaspoon of turmeric and work this into the dough. Turmeric will help to add even more colour to the bread.
  3. Place the dough on a well-floured surface and knead for 10 minutes. I found that due to using carrot juice in place of water, this took more flour than normal bread during the kneading process to prevent the dough from sticking.
  4. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a damp tea towel. Leave the bowl in a warm part of your home, to rise for one hour. Preheat the oven to 220c.
  5. While the dough is rising, it’s a chance to prep the soup. Read the steps below for the method.
  6. Once the dough has roughly doubled in size, beat the air out for about five minutes. Place the dough in a tin – I used a traditional loaf tin. Bake the bread for about 25-28 minutes.

To make the soup-

  1. This soup recipe is great for using up leftover pumpkin. For best results, roast your pumpkin in the oven, with the skin still on. Then you can freeze or refrigerate it for recipes like this.
  2. Chop up two onions, four sticks of celery, one potato, two carrots, two parsnips and two cloves of garlic.
  3. Add two tablespoons of olive oil to a hot pan. Cook the onions, celery, potato, pumpkin, parsnip, carrot and garlic. Leave to simmer for about 5-8 minutes. Until all the contents of the pan have had a chance to sweat.
  4. Add 750ml of vegetable stock and turned down the heat. Let this simmer for around 30 minutes, or until all the veg is soft. Check by prodding the potato pieces with a fork. (wait until you can easily prod the potato with a fork). Season generously with black pepper.
  5. Use a hand blender to make the vegetables into a thick soup. Once blended, you can add vegan cream to thin the soup to your desired consistency.

Dish up! Garnish the soup with a sprinkling of mild curry powder over the top. I served up this soup in carved out munchkins (yes, those are mini or ‘munchkin’ pumpkins). M&S sell them for £1-2 each! Don’t forget to roast the pumpkin seeds to enjoy as a snack.

Sam xx

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