I like to serve this hearty soup in October and November, perfect for a fall meal. This recipe came from Gourmet magazine and makes a meaty, spicy and smoky soup, thickened by pureed black beans. Enjoy!
In a food processor coarsely puree beans and tomatoes.
In a 6-quart heavy kettle, cook onion, shallots, garlic, cumin, salt and pepper in butter over moderate heat, stirring until onion is softened and beginning to brown. Stir in bean puree. Stir in broth, pumpkin puree and sherry until combined. Simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 25 minutes or until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
Just before serving, add ham and vinegar. Simmer soup, stirring, until completely heated through. Season soup with salt and pepper.