Cookbookavore returns: Butternut squash and black bean soup
ETA: This soup has a new name. It has been re-named Mysterious Benedict Society Soup by the delightful Nora of I’ve Bean Thinking (due to, I believe, my mention that I was reading it during the first incarnation of this soup, but frankly that is such a good book that way more recipes should be named after it). Thanks, Nora!
Yesterday on Twitter I mentioned a delicious soup and was asked for the recipe, so here it is. Sort of. I made it up as I went along and didn’t measure anything, so it’s my best guess. Luckily, it is really difficult to mess up soup.
—one butternut squash that’s 8-9 inches long and not too fat on the bulb end
—one can of black beans (I used Goya)
—vegetable broth (I use the stuff in a carton from Trader Joe’s, and highly recommend keeping vegetable broth around all the time if you don’t already. It is GREAT for making rice/couscous/quinoa)
And then you:
Cut the squash down the middle, scrape out all the seeds and whatnot, and put it on aluminum foil on a baking pan. Put it in the oven at 380 (Bittman calls for 375, I don’t think there’s a huge difference). I didn’t add any butter or oil, though you can. I am honestly not sure how long I baked it for because I was reading (The Mysterious Benedict Society!) and just kept peeking at it. Probably 45 minutes or so? In any event, you’ll know it’s ready when the skin is puffy on the outsides and the flesh looks sort of dry. Poke it with a fork. If the fork goes right through, you’re probably set. Take it out and let it cool. This is a good chance to read some more.
After it’s cool enough to hold, peel the skin off. It should come off very easily. Slice the squash up into chunks, whatever size you like, and put in a saucepan. Add the beans. Cover with broth plus another half-inch or so of broth (though you could do more). Turn the heat on medium and let it warm up a bit (aka: read some more) and then put in honey. I think I made three or four spirals worth, but add to taste. Then just 2 or 3 shakes of cayenne, but you could do more. Mix it up, put the lid on, let it simmer for awhile, and voila! Delicious soup.
You could probably double this and make it in a bigger pot. Also, I think next time I might soften an onion in some oil in the pot before I add in the squash. Or maybe some potatoes. So many options!