Thursday, October 4, 2012

Butternut Squash, Kale, & White Bean Soup



There is nothing more nourishing than a bowl of warm vegetable bean soup on a chilly autumn evening! This simple soup can be made in about 30 minutes, perfect if you are crunched for time on a busy weeknight. I like to keep small containers of cooked beans in my freezer so I can pull them out and whip something up in a hurry! You could of course use canned beans, and if you do, the best brand to buy is Eden Organic. They use BPA-free cans and also cook kombu seaweed in with their beans, which helps to make them more digestible.

If you are not yet in the habit of cooking beans from scratch, here is what I do: after the kids go to bed I will sort through a couple of cups of dry beans (usually about 4 cups) and pick out any rocks or clumps of dirt, then rinse the beans in a colander. Then I place them into a large glass bowl and cover them with a few inches of warm water. Be sure to add enough water! Whenever I ask Tom to soak beans or nuts, he never adds enough water and in the morning they will have all expanded and be exposed to air. He's learning, slowly. ;-)


If they need more water, just add more. Around 3pm the next day I will drain off all of the water, rinse the beans, and place them into an 8-quart stockpot. Then I cover them with water, add a small strip of kombu, and bring to a boil. Then cover the pot, reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook until tender. Most beans take around 1 hour. Now you have cooked beans to use in soups, stews, enchiladas, and coffee cakes! Let the beans cool, then place them into jars, cover with bean cooking liquid, and freeze or refrigerate.



Butternut Squash, Kale, and White Bean Soup

I use Homemade Chicken Stock in this recipe, in fact, I like to keep a few quart jars of stock in my freezer at all times. You could also use a homemade vegetable stock if desired. Try the mushroom-veggie stock recipe from our new cookbook!

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped 

3 stalks celery, chopped
1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cubed
8 cups chicken or vegetable stock
2 to 3 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
3 to 4 cups cooked cannellini beans
2 to 3 cups chopped kale
freshly ground black pepper and sea salt to taste


Heat a 6-quart pot over medium heat. Add the olive oil, then add the onions; sauté for 5 to 10 minutes. Then add the celery, butternut squash, stock, and rosemary. Cover and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the squash is tender.

Then add the cooked beans, chopped kale, pepper, and sea salt. Simmer for another 3 to 4 minutes. Taste and adjust salt and seasonings if necessary. Serve and enjoy! Source: www.NourishingMeals.com.

Rosemary growing in our garden

More Soup Recipes:
Healing Chicken Ginger Soup
Cream of Broccoli Soup (Dairy-Free)
Creamy Potato Leek Soup


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11 comments:

  1. This looks yummy! We grew three acres of squash this year for Organic Valley - so there will be plenty of it in our cellar as well! Right now I have two whole chickens with root vegtables roasting and a loaf of yeast free seed bread baking - all from your new book! It is such a great book for us! I finally got the sourdough started this afternoon too. I can't wait for all my hungry crew to come inside so we can all enjoy such a wonderful nutritious meal!! I am so grateful for all that you have taught me. Thanks, Ali!
    Stephanie

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  2. This looks fantastic! I'm always looking for new veggie recipes, and I can't wait to give this one a try.

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  3. This looks great and will surely be on our fall/winter menu. I cook all my beans, but for me there is a slight inconvenience in freezing them over just opening a can of beans. I prefer to freeze in glass, but many times I don't plan ahead and don't have time to defrost the beans (and don't want to run the glass under warm water due to extreme temp change). So, more often than not, I will freeze in plastic bags, so I can run them under warm water in a pinch to defrost. Do you have any tips on defrosting in glass containers? Thanks!

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  4. I tried your Chipotle Bean & Yam Stew with a few adjustments (no chili powder or peppers). It was good. I can't wait to try this one! :)

    Meg

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  5. @kidoing, do you use a microwave? (I know some people are opposed.) If so, you can cook big batches of beans and then freeze them in pint-size, wide-mouth mason jars with plastic lids. The jars can then go right into the microwave to defrost. (We take the plastic lid off once it's warm enough to release.) Each jar holds about the same amount of beans as a 15-oz can can, so it's perfect for recipes. Has helped us cut back on our plastic exposure a lot!

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  6. It's always good to see that others are getting the word out too, about cooking beans from scratch. Carbon footprint's smaller too- those beans aren't transported to a processing plant, then shipped, eventually getting to our pantry... The dry beans practically go straight from the farmer into our pot! Love it- thanks for posting :)

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  7. This looks so good. I have pinned it and can't wait to make it!

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  8. I'm glad you shared your bean storage secrets. I love to cook them myself, but then procrastinate to use them and they end up going rotten in the fridge. At least I can freeze them if I get lazy again. I hate wasting food. Thanks!

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  9. Love love love this recipe...will definately be making this often!!

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  10. The addition of 1 tsp. Madras Curry Powder really adds to this soup. Yummmmmm!

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Thanks, and as always, Happy Cooking! Ali & Tom