Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Bean, Tomato, and Butternut Squash Soup

I don't know where I got this recipe. I usually make a notation in my recipe binder but this time I didn't. Anyway, I will post it with my modifications.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

1 onion, finely chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups veggie broth and 2 cups water
3 cups cooked pinto beans (or 2-15oz canned beans)
14 oz can diced tomatoes, in juice
2 cups (1/2" pieces) peeled, seeded butternut squash
1 tsp dried marjoram
1/4 tsp dried crushed red pepper flakes

Saute onion and celery in a little water or broth until soft, about 7 minutes. Add half of the minced garlic, stir 1 minute. Add water, broth and remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until the squash is tender, about 15-20 minutes. Add the remaining minced garlic. Transfer soup in batches to a blender and puree until smooth. Return puree to the soup pot. Simmer until heated through, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Instead of butternut squash, you can use kabocha squash (which I prefer but might not be readily available everywhere). You can use dried oregano in place of the marjoram. Try using other types of beans.

The original recipe called for 1/2 tsp of dried red pepper flakes. YIKES. 1/4 tsp provided plenty of heat, but if you're brave, go for 1/2 tsp.

I recently learned a good tip if you use garlic in a recipe and want a stronger garlic flavour. Most recipes tell you to sautee the garlic in the beginning, but if you add the garlic closer to the end of the cooking process, you end up with a stronger flavour. That's why I added half the garlic in the beginning of this recipe and half near the end. If you want a milder garlic presence, sautee all the garlic at the start.

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