As we barrel toward the end of the year, a crisp chill has entered the air where I live. The drop in temperature makes me want to don my comfiest sweatpants, curl up on the couch – or pull up the chair to the dining table if you’re a more civilized person – and enjoy a bowl of something warm and comforting.

Enter this black bean and pumpkin stew.

This recipe starts by toasting whole coriander and cumin seeds along with orzo in olive oil until the pasta is browned and nutty. (Any short pasta will work in this recipe, or you can omit it to make the stew gluten-free.) The whole spices add delightful bursts of flavor and texture when you bite into them for a welcome surprise.

Canned pumpkin puree – ’tis the season! – gives the stew plenty of body. The pasta helps thicken it a bit, too. The texture is what designates this recipe as a stew as opposed to a soup for me, but feel free to add more stock if you prefer a thinner consistency. Lastly, canned black beans add earthy protein and extra heft, though any bean can work in their place.

An added bonus: This flavorful vegan stew comes together in just 20 minutes and is made from pantry ingredients, so you can just reach into your cupboards instead of braving the cold to head to the grocery store. Serve it drizzled with a fruity olive oil on top and some croutons, either homemade or store-bought, for a little bit of crunch and extra flavor.

Pantry ingredients for Black Bean and Pumpkin Stew with Pasta. Photo by Scott Suchman for The Washington Post

Black Bean and Pumpkin Stew with Pasta

20 minutes

4 servings (about 6 cups)

Channeling fall with canned pumpkin, this pantry-friendly stew is quick and hearty. The entire dish comes together in about 20 minutes and is loaded with pasta and beans. Whole coriander and cumin seeds add delightful bursts of flavor. The pumpkin puree gives it plenty of body, but feel free to add more stock if you prefer a thinner consistency. Serve drizzled with a fruity olive oil and topped with croutons, either homemade or store-bought, for a little bit of crunch and extra flavor.

Storage Notes: Leftover soup can be refrigerated for up to 4 days.


2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving

1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces/100 grams) orzo or another short pasta

1 teaspoon coriander seeds

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt or table salt, plus more to taste

1/2 teaspoon finely ground black pepper, plus more to taste

4 cups (1 quart) unsalted or low-sodium vegetable stock

Two (15.5-ounce) cans black beans, drained and rinsed

One (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree

Homemade or store-bought croutons, for serving


In a large pot over medium-high heat, heat the oil until it shimmers. Add the pasta, coriander, cumin, garlic powder, salt and pepper and cook, stirring regularly, until fragrant and toasted, 1 to 2 minutes.

Add the vegetable stock and increase the heat to bring it to a boil. Stir in the black beans and pumpkin puree, decrease the heat so the liquid is at a simmer, and cook until the pasta is al dente, 7 to 9 minutes. Taste, and season with more salt and/or pepper, if needed. Ladle into bowls and serve warm, drizzled with olive oil and a few croutons scattered on top.

Nutrition information per serving (1 1/2 cups) | Calories: 409; Total Fat: 9 g; Saturated Fat: 1 g; Cholesterol: 0 mg; Sodium: 542 mg; Carbohydrates: 66 g; Dietary Fiber: 15 g; Sugar: 9 g; Protein: 18 g

This analysis is an estimate based on available ingredients and this preparation. It should not substitute for a dietitian’s or nutritionist’s advice.

Recipe from staff writer Aaron Hutcherson.

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