I bought this seven pound butternut squash at the last farmers' market of the year, and decided today would be the day I'd test my Wüsthof chef's knife against its sturdy shell. I cut it into eight big pieces and roasted until tender. I tucked most of the wedges in the freezer, but saved one for a warm, sweet, orangey soup that was taking shape in my head.
I made a batch of veggie stock and cooked two pounds of dried cannelini beans. I set aside some of each for the soup. And then I played with flavor and hoped for the best.
This soup, which I've decided to name Sweet Sunday Soup, is hearty and yet light. It's perfectly satisfying after eating Thanksgiving foods in a variety of forms, and is warming on a cold late late fall night.
Sweet Sunday Soup
3 cloves garlic
several carrots, cut into small pieces
1 rib of celery, diced
part of an onion, diced
4 small yukon gold potatoes, diced
1 sweet potato, diced
part of a butternut squash, roasted and diced
1 bay leaf
1 sprig of fresh thyme
2 cups of cooked cannelini beans
several cups of veggie stock
several cups of water
salt and pepper to taste
parmesan cheese, grated
Saute the first four ingredients in olive oil until they brown. Toss in the potatoes and sweet potatoes and cook for a few minutes. Add stock and water, along with the herbs. Bring the soup to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and cook until potatoes are crisp-tender, then add the beans and squash. Cook until flavors meld and all vegetables are tender, adding liquid as necessary. Salt and pepper to taste.
Tear spinach into soup bowls and then ladle in the hot soup. Garnish with cheese.
Serve with warm cornbread.