Saturday, November 12, 2011

Souper Saturday

This time of year, and as the weather turns colder, we make and eat soup at least once or twice a week.
One of our favorite soups is Italian Bean and Squash Soup from Moosewood Restaurant's New Classics. You can use just about any type of winter squash and any type of beans.

Here's the recipe:
1 T. Olive Oil

3 1/2 cups finely chopped onions

6 large cloves of garlic, minced

1 celery stalk with some leaves, finely chopped

1 3/4 cups crushed tomatoes with juice (15 oz. can)

1 quart vegetable stock

1 t. dried oregano

pinch of crushed red pepper

4 cups diced peeled butternut squash

3 1/2 cups cooked pinto beans ( two 15 oz. cans, rinsed and drained)

1 t. salt

freshly grated pecorino chees (optional)

Heat the oil in a large soup pot and saute onions, garlic and celery about 10 minutes, until soft. Add the tomatoes, broth, oregano, red pepper flakes. Bring to a simmer. Add the squash and cook until tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Add the beans and salt and pepper. Cook until beans are heated through. Serve hot topped with the cheese if desired.

I use my own canned Vegetable Stock, which tastes wonderful and compared to store bought, is so much cheaper. (Store bought vegetable stock ranges from $1.79 per quart to $2.99 per quart for organic). Canning your own stock takes some time and effort but so worth it! I also can tomatoes out of my garden and dried beans so they are ready to use. It's a great way to use your own garden harvest or support local farmers. Canning fresh produce in season tastes better and can be much cheaper. I can usually find dried beans from one of the local farmers down at Eastern Market.

For the batch pictured above, I used pinto beans. I also used the sweet dumpling squash, garlic, onions and tomatoes from my own garden. Enjoy

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