Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Butternut Squash and Black Bean Soup

Soup was ON for dinner tonight.  I've been totally obsessed with the combination of sweet winter vegetables (for example butternut squash and sweet potatoes) and black beans lately.  Remember my Chipotle-Glazed Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tacos?  Oh no?  Get into your kitchen and make them.  Now... just do it.


This soup is crazy-good.  It'll make you feel like snuggling up in a blanket in front of a roaring fire.  It is smokey and savory.  Oh, it's good.  And it's vegetarian and vegan (and even gluten-free if you leave off the crispy wonton strips).  I adapted the recipe just slightly from Sprouted Kitchen.  I added smoked paprika because I love the smokiness with black beans.  If you don't have smoked paprika, you could add a bit more ground cumin or some chipotle powder.


I didn't have tortillas for garnish so I used an open package of Nasoya wonton wrappers that I had in the fridge.  They worked like a charm, crisping up beautifully.  Use whatever you have, even some broken-up tortilla chips would work in a pinch.


Something else cool about the soup: it's inexpensive and quick to make.  How many more reasons could you possibly need?


So hurry up and make this soup before springtime.  Because when spring arrives, soup just doesn't have the same ring to it.


Since Brian has been working late the last few days, I was dining solo this evening so I decided to have two of my GFs, Joy and Tracy, join me (OK, so what if they don't know they're my GFs).  I listened to a couple of the Joy the Baker Podcasts while I ate dinner and it felt just like dinner with friends...except they did all the talking and I mostly just laughed along.

Butternut Squash and Black Bean Soup
serves 4-6
adapted from Sprouted Kitchen

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 medium sweet yellow onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 small head of cabbage, chopped (I used purple cabbage, you could use any variety at all)
3 cups cubed butternut squash (about 1'' chunks)
4 cups vegetable broth
2 level teaspoons cumin
1/2 teaspoon cocoa powder (I used dark)
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 (15.5 oz) can low sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
salt, to taste

For crispy wonton strips:
10-12 wonton wrappers (I use Nasoya wontons).  If you don't have wontons you can use 2 or 3 small flour or corn tortillas)
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
salt, to taste

For garnish:
avocado, chopped
cilantro
green onion, thinly sliced
crispy wonton strips

In a heavy pot or dutch oven over medium-high, heat 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil and add the chopped onion and saute until lightly browned, about 5 minutes.  Add garlic and saute another 1 minute, stirring.  Then, add the cabbage, squash and broth and bring soup to a boil.  Cover the pot with the lid and lower heat to a simmer.  Simmer 15-20 minutes or until the cabbage and butternut squash are nearly done.  Meanwhile, make the crispy wonton strips (see method below).

After the soup has cooked about 15-20 minutes, add the spices and beans to the pot and stir.  Cook soup another 5-10 minutes, taste and season with additional salt as necessary.  Then turn off the heat and using an immersion blender, pulse several times to puree the soup just slightly in order to thicken it, leaving some of the vegetables and beans intact.  (If you don't have an immersion blender, remove 1/4 -1/3 of the soup liquid and vegetables to a blender and puree.  Then return pureed portion back to the soup pot and stir.)

Serve soup warm topped with the chopped avocado, cilantro, green onion and crispy wonton strips.


To make the Crispy Wonton Strips:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with a sheet of aluminum foil and spray with a light mist of olive oil cooking spray.

Stack the wontons (or tortillas) on top of each other and slice into thin matchsticks.  Spread them out in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet.  Drizzle with 1 teaspoon of olive oil and sprinkle with salt.  Bake 8-10 minutes until light and crispy (if you use tortillas in stead of wontons, you may need to leave them in the oven for an additional 4-5 minutes).  Remove and season strips with additional salt, if necessary.  Use to garnish the soup.





What foods are you the MOST excited eating this Spring?

My favorites are strawberries and asparagus!  Love Spring Time!

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11 comments:

  1. That soup looks fantastic - I especially love the crispy wonton strips, what I nice touch that adds both visual and crunch appeal! I, too, am obsessed with the combination of winter vegetables and beans - not only are they delicious, but packed with protein so I don't feel bad about eating vegetarian!

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    1. Yes beans are an awesome source of fiber and protein!

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  2. YumYumYum! I must make this... unfortunately it is never REALLY the season to eat soup or Chili here... so we just eat it year round! :-)

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    1. I hear ya! Try it one evening when you feel like you want to be cozy :-)

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  3. Sounds delicious! Can't wait to try this!

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  4. Your directions say sweet potatoes, but I don't see them in the ingredients list. Just one sweet potato?

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    1. Thank you for pointing that out! It was a typo, it should have said butternut squash so I have updated the directions to reflect the correction. I think sweet potatoes would make an excellent substitute for the butternut squash, if you wish, in that case I would use 2 medium sweet potatoes.

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  5. Made this for dinner tonight but without the cabbage since I didn't have any. It was absolutely DELICIOUS! Thank you!

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    Replies
    1. Awesome! So glad you liked it :-)

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