Soups are a beautiful thing. Hear me out – there is something so fulfilling about taking a handful of odds-and-ends ingredients, incorporating them into one pot, and allowing them to meld together into a perfectly cohesive dish.
When I find my kitchen overrun with bits and pieces of soon-to-expire produce, soup becomes the means by which I can clear my refrigerator of clutter. Not only do I end up with a neater cooking space, I have a complete meal in one pot that will feed me for the next week.
The butternut squash was Thanksgiving residual and the inspiration for this soup. Instead of blending it into a velvety emulsion, like many butternut squash soups, it’s left in hearty chunks.
Beans are a staple in our cupboards. Starchy and a little chewy, they fortify this soup and help thicken the broth making it more like a stew.
Even the broth for this soup was unused Thanksgiving scrap. Instead of throwing it away, we took the carcass of our bird and simmered it with onion, celery, and carrots to make homemade stock. What was once lifeless refuse gets resurrected into a rich, deep flavored broth that brings everything together.
Half a bag of almost spoiled spinach gets added at the end and a seemingly random shopping list of ingredients turns into a perfectly cohesive meal.
Butternut Squash White Bean Vegetarian Soup
- 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 2 Stalks Celery, chopped
- 1 Carrot, chopped
- 1 Medium Onion, chopped
- 1 Butternut Squash, peeled and chopped into 1 inch cubes
- 2 1/2 Cups or 1 Can White or Navy Beans
- 1 Quart Chicken, Turkey, or Vegetable Stock
- 1 Tsp Sage
- 1 Tsp Thyme
- Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
- 3 Handfuls of Spinach
- 1 Tbsp Brown Sugar
- 2 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
- Parmesan Cheese (Optional)
Pour the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the celery, carrots, and onion and allow to cook down for 2-3 minutes. Add the butternut squash and season with salt and pepper. Let the butternut squash brown on one side, then stir and allow to brown on the other side. Add the beans and the stock, stirring to combine. Season with sage, thyme, and crushed red pepper flakes. Bring to a simmer then turn heat down to medium-low. Let simmer for 15-20 minutes then add the spinach and allow the spinach to wilt down. Remove the pot from the heat and finish with brown sugar and vinegar. Serve with shaved parmesan cheese and top with fresh cracked pepper.