Sunday, March 13, 2011
Candy Roaster Squash, Ginger & White Bean Soup
Quite a few years ago, I worked as a cook in a Natural Foods Cafe. One of my jobs was to make the soup of the day. Regular customers loved and clamored for the delicious Butternut Squash, White Bean & Ginger soup, a recipe from The Horn of the Moon Vegetarian Restaurant in Vermont.
I didn't make it very often because it was hard for me to get it done in the allotted time. I would go to work at 7 AM and lunch started being served at 11:30 AM. While 4 1/2 hours may sound like ample time to make a pot of soup, may I point out that I made a huge (HUGE!) pot of soup and stirred it with a wooden paddle that looked big enough to use as a boat oar. I also made 8 to 10 quiches each day and washed and prepped all the vegetables in the cold table for the sandwiches and salads.
That job is where I really developed my knife skills and learned to efficiently chop cases full of vegetables every day.
While the original recipe calls for butternut squash, I used some candy roaster squash puree I had frozen last fall. Use your favorite winter squash--they all work just fine and taste delicious. I also used large white limas because I had them on hand and love them, but navy beans or cannelini beans are also delicious.
Winter Squash, Ginger & White Bean Soup
1 cup dry white beans
2 lbs. winter squash
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 cup chopped onions
1 cup sliced celery
1 Tbsp. minced fresh ginger
2 tsp. minced fresh garlic
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
Cook the white beans in salted water until tender.
Cook and puree the squash.
In a soup pot, heat the oil, then saute the onions, celery, ginger, and garlic, stirring occasionally. When tender and beginning to brown, add the squash puree. Add the beans to the pot using a slotted spoon. Add some of the bean cooking liquid, vegetable stock, or water to obtain the desired consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste and stir in the fresh parsley.
Simmer, uncovered, for about 15 minutes and serve.