Black Bean Soup with Butternut Squash & Spanish Chorizo

        From the blog For Love of the Table

3 T. olive oil

1 medium to large onion (white or yellow), cut in a ¼-inch dice

3 large cloves of garlic, minced

2 1/2 to 3 oz. finely diced Spanish chorizo (cured spiced pork sausage, casings discarded if desired)

2 t. cumin

2 t. smoked paprika

1 1/3 lb. Butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into a 1/3-inch dice (to make about 4 cups)

3 cups chicken or vegetable stock or a combination of half stock and half water, plus more as needed

5 to 5 1/2 c. cooked black beans (see notes)

1 to 2 T. Dry Sherry (or more, to taste)

Sour cream thinned with a bit of milk

Coarsely chopped Italian flat leaf parsley

Minced green onion (white and green portions)

Toasted pepitas (see notes)


Warm the olive oil in a medium sized soup pot or Dutch oven set over moderate heat.  Add the onions and sweat without color until very soft—15 to 20 minutes or so.  Add the garlic, chorizo, and spices and cook briefly to infuse the flavors into the fat and onions—about 5 minutes.  Add the squash and stir to coat with the onions, chorizo and spices.  Season with salt and continue to cook for another five minutes.  Add the stock/water, adding enough so that the squash moves freely in the liquid and is completely submerged…but not “swimming” in the liquid.  Bring to a simmer and cook (adjusting the heat to maintain a gentle simmer) until the squash is tender—about 20 minutes.


Add the beans, along with enough bean cooking liquid or water so that everything is submerged, moving freely, but not swimming.  Return to a simmer and cook for another 15 minutes (at a low simmer) to allow the flavors to blend.  Taste and season as necessary with salt and pepper.  If you like, add the Sherry. 


If the consistency of the soup pleases you, the soup is ready to serve.  If you would like a creamier soup, remove a cup or two of the soup and purée until very smooth using a traditional or an immersion blender.  Return the puréed soup to the pot and heat through.


Serve topped with a generous drizzle of thinned sour cream and a scattering of parsley, green onion and pepitas.


Makes a generous 2 quarts of soup.


  • You may cook your beans from dry or use canned. If you use canned, you will need 3 15 oz. cans. Drain and rinse the beans before using. Add fresh water to the soup when adding the beans. If using dried beans, you will need 12 oz. (1 3/4 cups) of black beans. Cook them according to your preferred method—on the stove top, in the oven, or using a pressure cooker or an Instant Pot. I don’t own either of the latter two and my preferred method is to soak overnight (or use a modified quick soak) and bake them in the oven. Black beans take about 2 hours. Add 2 or 3 T. of olive oil, a cinnamon stick, a couple of well-branched sprigs of thyme and 3 or 4 peeled and lightly crushed cloves of garlic before adding the water. Salt half to three quarters of the way through the cooking process.
  • If you prefer, you may replace the cured Spanish chorizo with 4 oz. of fresh Mexican chorizo. If using Mexican chorizo, consider finishing with a squeeze of lime juice instead of Sherry and roughly chopped cilantro instead of parsley.
  • If you like to add something acidic, you can add a 14 oz. can of diced tomatoes. Add it after adding and cooking the chorizo and spices, cooking until the tomatoes are slightly thickened. Add the squash and continue as directed in the recipe.
  • If you would like some spicy heat, add 1/8 to 1/4 t. of cayenne or 1 t. of chipotle chili powder with the spices and chorizo.
  • Toast pepitas (pumpkin seeds) in a 350° oven until they are light golden and beginning to puff and pop…about 5 minutes. Drizzle with a small amount of olive oil and season with salt.