Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Butternut Squash and Black Bean Soup

I loved this soup. Loved it! The stupid picture of the squash above, though, is the last picture I took with an uninjured camera. After taking it, I put the camera on the counter, and now...well, now the camera has no zoom capabilities. Let's just end the story there so I don't have to accept responsibility.

I'd never made a squash soup before, so I wanted to stick to flavors that I already knew our family liked. Since then, I've made a butternut and apple soup (which I didn't like as well), and I've tasted a divine squash soup with garlic, onion, and chicken that my mom made. (Tasted? I suppose eating two bowls right in a row is more than a taste...) I'll get that recipe and post it here sometime, because it showcased the bright flavor of the squash instead of relegating it to the sidelines like the one below does.

Suffice it to say, squash tastes really good on the sidelines, too.

This soup has a rich and comforting flavor, and the butternut squash hidden in the background lends a delicate sweetness to the rest. If only I hadn't used up all the butternut squash left from my mom's garden, I'd make it again tomorrow. *Pumpkin can be used interchangeably with butternut squash in this recipe and in just about any other, too.


1 large onion
8 cloves garlic, freshly pressed
one large butternut squash (about 2 cups squash puree is needed), cooked and pureed
4 cups cooked black beans, separated
1 cup canned tomatoes
2 and 1/2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. coarse sea salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
chicken broth
4 tsp. apple cider vinegar
a pinch of cayenne, to taste

Halve butternut squash and remove seeds. Bake cut side down in oven until tender. Meanwhile, saute onions in some olive oil until translucent. Add garlic and cook for about one minutes more. Puree 2 cups cooked black beans with 1 cup tomatoes until smooth. (Use a hand-cranked food mill or an electric food processor.) Scoop out cooked squash and puree until smooth. In a large soup pot, stir the 2 cups pureed squash together with the pureed black bean mixture. Add the remaining 2 cups cooked black beans, the spices, and the vinegar. Stir and heat. Add chicken broth, as needed, to reach desired consistency.

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