Prep all ingredients above (peel and cube squash, mince garlic, dice onion and red bell pepper, drain and rinse can of black beans).
In a large pot, heat 2 tbsp avocado oil over medium heat. Add ¾ C finely diced red onion and cook until onion begins to soften, about 3 minutes.
Add in 3 cloves minced garlic and ¾ C diced red bell pepper. Cook for another 2-3 minutes, until garlic is fragrant.
Add spices into the pot: 1 ½ tsp smoked paprika, 1 tsp ground cumin seed, ½ tsp dry oregano, 1 tsp Herbamare seasoning and ¼ tsp ground black pepper. Toss to coat vegetables with the spices.
Add ¼ C cooking sherry and scrape any spices into the liquid.
Add remaining ingredients to the pot: 3 C vegetable broth, 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed, 4 C cubed butternut squash and the juice of half a lime (optional).
Place a lid on the pot and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes. Remove the lid, lower the heat and allow soup to simmer for another 10 minutes.
To create a creamy soup, use an immersion blender to pulse the soup a few times, leaving as much or little texture as you like (can create a completely pureed soup if you like). If you don’t have an immersion blender take ¼ to ½ the soup and blend in a blender or food processor then return to the soup.
Serve topped with your favourite ingredients like fresh cilantro, vegan sour cream, avocado, baked tortilla strips/ tortilla chips, pepitas and/ or a sprinkle of smoked paprika!