Posted in Food, Recipes

The Incredible, The Wonderful Squash and Bean Soup

Butternut SquashIt’s the perfect night for soup – cold and wet. I, however, have just come home from a massage so feel just fiiiiiine, thank you very much.

I put the ingredients together for this soup before I left and we were eating about 40 minutes later. Got to love that, too. I’ve had this recipe kicking around for years, sitting in a humongous file folder with recipe clippings I’ve had since the early 1990s. A few weekends ago I decided to tackle that folder and divide it into categories that I could deal with, like vegetarian dinners, breakfast, meat dinners, side dishes, soups, etc. I rescued this soup recipe from folder limbo and and so, so happy I did.

I think butternut squash works best with this soup. It complements the flavor of the carrots to add a very mild sweetness to the broth. And, of course, it really does matter what kind of soup stock you use. I made my own a few days ago, from odds and ends – including bones – that I had laid away in my freezer.

Winter Squash and White Bean Soup
(recipe adapted from Cooking Light magazine)

1 tbs olive oil
4 cups peeled and cubed butternut squash
2 cups chopped leek (about 3 leeks)
3/4 cup chopped carrot
1/2 cup chopped celery
2 tsp chopped fresh or 1/2 tsp dried rubbed sage
1/2 tsp salt
1 garlic clove, minced
2 cups vegetable stock
5 cups water
2 cups chopped green cabbage
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 1/2 – 2 cups cannellini or other white beans, drained
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven (soup pot) over medium heat until hot. Add squash and next six ingredients (squash through 1 garlic clove). Sautee 10 minutes. Stir in 1 cup of vegetable stock, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Add the other cup of stock, the water and bring to a boil. Partially cover, reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes until vegetables are tender. Add cabbage and beans and simmer again for about 15 minutes, or until the cabbage is tender. Add fresh parsley and serve.

Alternatively, you can substitute all stock or part stock and part water for the proportions outlined in this recipe.