I recently found myself with an overabundance of butternut squash. We made ravioli one weekend, but I still had 3 squash left. When I mentioned my plight to a friend, she suggested a white bean and butternut squash soup. This sounded perfect as it solved two problems for me; I also had a pack of Rancho Gordo Yellow Eye Beans from my trip to San Francisco that kept attacking me every time I opened the pantry.
When I initially bought the beans, I thought they were related to black-eyed peas. After a little research, I learned that they are a cousin of the white bean and can be used as a creamier replacement for Navy or Great Northern beans. Perfect!
I added turnips to the soup balance out the richness of the squash and chose rosemary as the herb, inspired by a black-eyed pea dish seasoned with rosemary that my friend Zack made for a New Year’s dinner. If you’d like to add a touch of green to the soup, Spinach or Kale would make a nice addition.
This recipe makes an enormous batch of soup, about 10 servings. I froze it and have been eating it for lunch with a side salad. It reheats nicely and is delicious!
White Bean and Butternut Squash Soup
1 tbsp olive oil
2 leeks or 1 onion – peeled and chopped
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
3 large turnips, peeled and chopped
2 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded and chopped
16 oz dried white beans or substitute (like Yellow Eye Beans), soaked over night and drained (if you are substituting with canned beans, use 3 cans of drained beans)
2 quarts chicken or vegetable broth
2 tbsps fresh rosemary, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large pot. Add the onions and saute until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the other vegetables and saute for another 5 minutes to sweat the vegetables and let the flavors come out.
Add the beans and 1.5 quarts of the stock. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to simmer. Cover and let the soup simmer for about an hour, adding stock as needed. Add the rosemary, salt and pepper and cook for another 15 minutes.
I garnished with a little extra fresh rosemary, but I would skip this step if you don’t like a strong rosemary flavor.