Authors: lisa' s kitchen feed
Local squashes and pumpkins are in season now, and I love to stock the pantry shelves with a small assortment of these attractive gourds — they keep so long, and it's just somehow comforting to have them around just in case you want to make simple cold weather vegetable fare like this colorful, nourishing and lightly spiced soup. Roasting the butternut squash before adding to the soup enhances the flavor of the sweet orange flesh instead of turning it bland and watery, and the addition of puréed cannellini beans lends heartiness and creaminess. And a scattering of crunchy toasted pistachio pieces is the perfect taste and texture finish in the mouth at the end of a spoonful.
|Roasted Butternut Squash & Cannellini Bean Soup with Spices and Toasted Pistachios
|Recipe by Lisa Turner
Published on October 26, 2012
Simple, warm, creamy, nourishing and sweet roasted butternut squash soup with puréed cannellini beans and spices topped with toasted pistachios
- 1/3 cup dried cannellini (white kidney) beans (1 cup cooked)
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 medium butternut squash (2 lbs or 2 to 3 cups)
- 1/4 cup raw pistachios, chopped
- 1 tablespoon butter or oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon dried red chili flakes
- pinch of ground cloves
- 2 cups vegetable stock
- 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
- 1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
- fresh ground black pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup cream or plain whole fat yogurt (optional)
Makes 4 to 6 servings
Rinse the beans and soak for 8 hours or overnight covered in several inches of water. Drain and rinse, then transfer to a small saucepan and cover with 3 cups of fresh water. Add the bay leaf, bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until tender. Set aside, reserving the cooking liquid.
Meanwhile, preheat an oven to 400° and position the rack in the middle of the oven. Cut the squash in half, remove the seeds and pulp, and score the flesh with a knife. Brush with butter or oil and transfer to an oiled baking sheet or pan. Bake until the squash is fork tender — about 60 to 80 minutes. Let cool. Remove the skin and scoop the flesh into a small bowl.
Spread the chopped pistachios evenly on a baking sheet or tray. Toast in a 325° oven or toaster oven for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until browned and fragrant. Set aside.
Heat the butter or oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. When hot, add the onion and sauté for 10 minutes or until soft. Now add the curry powder, ground cumin, chili flakes and ground cloves, and stir for 30 seconds. Now add the beans and their cooking liquid, the squash and the vegetable stock. Turn up the heat and bring to a simmer. Cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally and adding more water or vegetable stock if you want a thinner consistency.
Remove from heat and discard the bay leaf. Purée the soup until smooth with an immersion blender or in batches in a countertop blender. (You can strain the soup if you want it very smooth.) Season with garam masala, salt and plenty of fresh ground black pepper.
Serve hot or warm, garnished with a scattering of the toasted pistachios and a swirl of cream or yogurt if desired.
Other fall and winter soups from my kitchen:
Cranberry Wild Rice Soup
Red Bean and Squash Soup
Split Pea and Mushroom Soup
Curry-Laced Pumpkin and Potato Soup
On the top of the reading stack: "Life is Elsewhere" by Milan Kundera
Audio Accompaniment: Zen Garden - Simple Thought (Stefan Torto remake)