Pureed White Bean and Winter Squash Soup
I made this soup for dinner last night, delicious but totally inappropriate for the 80° weather that we’re having. I feel like I say this every year at around this time, it just doesn’t make any sense. The markets are filled with winter squash, broccoli, collards and the time of year tells me that I want hearty fall food, it hurts a little when you can’t go for seconds because it is simply too hot.
This soup was delicious, delicate and a full meal in one bowl. My daughter, who has been on a hunger strike for a week now, lapped it up over little stelline pasta and even went for seconds. I guess the heat wasn’t getting to her, but since has been surviving on crackers, yogurt and fruit, she was probably pretty hungry.
Pureed White Bean & Winter Squash Soup
from The New York Times
- 1 pound white beans (such as navy beans, small white beans, or cannelini), washed, picked over and soaked for 6 hours o overnight in 2 quarts water
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 1/2 quarts water
- A bouquet garni made with a bay leaf, a couple of sprigs each thyme and parsley, and 2 sage leaves
- Salt to taste
- 2 leeks, white part only, well washed and chopped
- 1 pound winter squash, peeled, seeds and membranes removed, and diced
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
- A light drizzle of extra virgin olive oil for garnish
Drain the beans. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large, heavy soup pot over medium heat and add the onion. Cook gently until tender, about 5 minutes, and add 2 of the garlic cloves and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Stir together for about 30 seconds, then add the drained beans and the water. Bring to a boil and skim off foam. Add the bouquet garni, reduce the heat, cover and simmer 1 hour.
Meanwhile, heat the remaining olive oil in a wide, heavy skillet over medium heat and add the leeks and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook gently, stirring, until tender, about 3 minutes, and add the remaining garlic and the squash. Cook, stirring, until the garlic is fragrant and the squash is coated with oil and just beginning to soften, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir into the beans. Add salt to taste and continue to simmer for another 30 minutes to an hour, until the beans and vegetables are thoroughly tender and falling apart. Taste and adjust salt. Remove the bouquet garni.
Using an immersion blender or a food mill fitted with the fine or medium blade, puree the soup. Heat through, taste and adjust salt, and add pepper to taste. Serve, garnishing each bowl with slivered sage leaves, (optional) garlic croutons and an optional drizzle of olive oil.
Yield: Serves 6
Three Years Ago: Lunch in Anzio, Mezze Maniche alla Checca, Squid Ink Risotto with Cuttlefish and Artichokes, Mezze Maniche con i Broccoli Romani, Braised Lentils With Spinach & Fish, Zucchini and Potato Gratin