Hearty Butternut Squash Soup

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Do you ever get to the market and then all confused which recipe you’re really working on?  My mind’s been spinning with ideas for a healthy new year so I’m pretty sure that was how I ended up with this blend of 3 different recipes; baked chicken and sweet potatoes, spinach soup, and baked butternut squash. The result?  Black bean + spinach + butternut squash soup. Add a spritz of lime, and it was quite a surprise that it tasted so good.

Dinner last night sounded like a scene out of Ratatouille.

Person 1, all serious sounding like a food writer, asked ‘What is the origin of this soup?’

Me ‘I don’t know…. I was going for pumpkin carrot soup and got lost along the way… I guess a happy blend?’

Person 2,  “I don’t care where it’s from… you need to backtrack what you put in it and write this recipe down.  I want it!”

Oh…  thank goodness there were only 3 spices in the pot.  Very easy to remember.  🙂   And there isn’t any real cooking. So you can do it too!

Here’s another little trick.  If you love squash but hate the way they disintegrate into soups and stews or worse, turn dark and discolored, here’s how to get around it.  I cheat.  I seasoned the squash cubes and microwaved it!!  Then add them to the broth when ready to serve.

Microwaving cooks from the inside out, so that results in soft centers and a firm outer on the butternut squash cubes.  And cooking the squash separately retains its own color.  Makes sense?

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Ingredients
:: Butternut squash, cubed
:: 1 large onion, diced
:: 1 large can of black beans, rinsed
:  1 bunch spinach, chopped
:  1 can diced tomatoes.  I used the fire roasted ones.
:  Chicken or vegetable broth.

Spices: salt, black pepper, paprika, cumin

We start with the squash.

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Cube squash.
Add pepper, paprika, cumin, salt and some olive oil.  Give it a toss.
Microwave for 8 mins or so, depending on your microwave machine’s power.

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8 minutes later, you get this gorgeous bright squash.  Like sunshine!

For the broth, sweat the onions till they are translucent looking like this.

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Add the beans….  and the same spices….  And cook for about a min or two.

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Add spinach…. fire roasted tomatoes…. and vegetable or chicken broth.
Turn up heat and cook until spinach is just wilted and soup is simmering.

To serve, add squash cubes to a bowl of broth, with a spritz of lime.

That wasn’t too difficult was it?

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