Full of fibre and “mood boosting” nutrients like beta-carotene, folate and vitamin C, this warming winter soup makes great use of late fall/early winter produce. Serve with a pear, walnut and goat cheese salad, or top with chicken sausage or crab meat for a hearty meal.
- 1 tbsp butter
- ½ cup coarsely chopped onion
- ½ cup coarsely chopped carrot
- ½ cup coarsely chopped celery
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tbsp chopped fresh sage*
- 1 can (540 ml) white kidney or cannellini beans, drained and rinsed (BPA-free, if you can find them)
- 3 cups mashed cooked butternut or acorn squash**
- 3 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
- 4 cups shredded kale
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- thick balsamic vinegar or balsamic vinegar syrup
- In a large pot, heat butter over medium high heat. Sauté onion, carrot and celery for 4 to 5 minutes or until softened. Add garlic and sage; sauté for 30 seconds.
- Stir in beans, squash, broth and an additional 3 cups of water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes.
- Working in batches, transfer soup to food processor or blender (or use immersion blender directly in pot but off the heat) and pureé until smooth. Return soup to pot and season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Over medium-low heat, add kale and parsley; cover and simmer until kale is cooked through, approximately 5 minutes. Serve and drizzle with balsamic vinegar.
*If using dried sage, use only 3 tsp to avoid overpowering the soup. Sage flavour will soften the longer the soup is cooked, so make sure to add at the beginning.
**To make 3 cups of cooked squash, use 1 large butternut squash or 2-3 acorn squashes. Cut squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds (you can reserve seeds later for toasting!). Place cut side down on a lightly oiled baking sheet and prick the skin several times with a fork. Bake at 375°F (190°C) oven for about 30 – 40 minutes, or until squash is fork tender. Let cool, then scoop out flesh with a spoon and discard skin. You can also substitute canned plain pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling!) if you are pressed for time.