Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Butternut Squash and White Bean Soup

OK, I know I said I wasn't going to be focused on Legume Wednesday on Wednesday anymore. But this Wednesday I happened to make this really great Legume dish and so I'm going with it. I think I'll clarify the whole Legume Wednesday to be Mostly Legume Wednesday. Or should that be Sometimes Legume Wednesday? Oh I don't know.

I can tell you that I had my first exam yesterday. In Adolescent Psychology. And it just figures that the test, like adolescence, was pretty much taken up by puberty. And I can also let you know that having to write letters to my imaginary son and daughter about what will happen to them in puberty as I desert them for the next five years was almost as painfully awkward as puberty itself. I hit the bare facts and then told my imaginary son to go ask his dad. I know, not all kids have active and involved dads, but as long as we're dealing with imaginary kids, I thought it perfectly reasonable to have this imaginary kid have a good imaginary relationship with the Brain. I also imagined that they were gifted children with an extensive vocabulary. I mean of course my imaginary children are brilliant. Geniuses really. Socially adept, popular, well behaved geniuses anyway.

Today in school we sang songs about means and averages. I'm not kidding. Yeah, this is graduate school. I'm not sure how to handle it all to be honest. But every day I drive down to the next county through rolling hills of farmland. The farmers are starting to plow the crops under. The corn is ready to be harvested and there are some huge golden soybean fields. Even the cows are starting to look furrier. Sooner rather than later it's going to be fall. I'm so ready. I love fall. And I think my drive is going to be beautiful when the leaves change colors. I just hope I'll be able to get that song out of my head by then.

SO in honor of fall, I made this healthy and delicious squash and white bean soup. It really took very little time. I mean I wouldn't beat out Rachel Ray and her 30 minutes business, but I don't think it took an hour and she has a prep team so that's just not fair. But the soup was mighty tasty and the bacon added a delicious smokiness to it. If you're a vegetarian you could probably substitute some fake bacon or just leave it out. There were some surprises too. Adding such a little bit of cream still made it so wonderfully creamy and it's not a sweet soup as most squash soups tend to be. This was a really flavorfull warmly spiced soup. It was a great lunch. Happy Wednesday.

Butternut Squash - White Bean Soup
lightly modified from Cooking Light

3 bacon slices
1 medium onion, chopped
4 stalks celery, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 (1/2 pound) butternut squash, peeled and cut into 3/4 inch cubes
1/4 cup dry white wine
4 cups fat-free, less sodium chicken broth
1 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground red pepper
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/4 cup whipping cream
1 Tbsp chopped fresh oregano
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 (15 ounce) cans Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained

Cook bacon in a Dutch oven over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, reserving 2 tsp drippings in pan. Crumble bacon and set aside.

Add onion, celery, and garlic to pan. Cook 3 minutes or until tender. Add squash and cook for 3 more minutes. Add wine and cook until most of the liquid is evaporated. Stir in broth, cumin, red pepper, cinnamon, and cloves. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes or until the squash is tender. Stir in the cream, oregano, salt, black pepper, beans and bacon. Bring to a boil and then remove from heat.

Yields 6, 1 1/2 cup servings.


glamah16 said...

Ok , my comment disappeared! Classes sound interesting. I like this twist on butterny squash soup. As I keep saying I love falls bounty!

Tartelette said...

Sounds delightful!! And it is CL to boot!
Sorry for the weird classes :(

Grace said...

soups like this make me glad the cold weather is on its way. fabulous combination. :)

Bellini Valli said...

I love Cooking Light magazine Mary. Their recipes seem to be foolproof:D This is a great way to usher in the fall:D

Deborah said...

Sounds like they are keeping your schooling interesting!!

This soup sounds wonderful. My in-laws have butternut squash in their garden, and I'm eagerly awaiting some from them!

Mike of Mike's Table said...

This sounds so good! I couldn't resist and you inspired me to make a butternut & bean soup this weekend Thanks :)