Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Bean Soup with Winter Squash and Greens


1 tablespoon butter
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 carrots, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
6 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
3 pounds buttercup squash, peeled and diced (about 6 cups)
1 plum tomato, chopped
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 15-ounce cans pinto or other brown beans, rinsed
10 ounces spinach, stemmed and coarsely chopped
1 lime, cut into wedges


1. Melt butter in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add garlic, carrots and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender and lightly browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Add broth and scrape up any browned bits with a wooden spoon. Add squash, tomato, crushed red pepper, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the squash is very soft and almost breaking apart, about 20 minutes.

2. Transfer 3 cups of the soup to a blender and puree until smooth. (Use caution when pureeing hot liquids.) Return the pureed soup to the pot. Stir in beans and spinach and cook over medium heat until the beans are heated through and the spinach is wilted, about 5 minutes. Serve with lime wedges.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Ginger Pumpkin Soup


2 can(s) (15-ounce) pumpkin puree
3 can(s) (14 1/2-ounce) chicken broth
1 can(s) (11 1/2-ounce) pear nectar
1/3 cup(s) creamy peanut butter
2 clove(s) garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoon(s) grated fresh ginger root
2 tablespoon(s) finely chopped green onion
1 tablespoon(s) fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon(s) salt
1/4 teaspoon(s) ground cayenne pepper
Toasted pumpkin seeds (optional)
Chopped chives (optional)


In a 6-quart saucepan, combine pumpkin puree, chicken broth, and pear nectar. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer 10 minutes.
In a blender or the bowl of a food processor fitted with chopping blade, process 1 cup pumpkin mixture with peanut butter until smooth. Return to saucepan with the remaining pumpkin mixture. Add garlic, ginger root, green onion, lime juice, salt, and cayenne pepper; cook 10 minutes over medium heat.

Divide soup among soup plates and garnish with pumpkin seeds and chives, if desired. Serve immediately.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Four Bean and Kielbasa Chili

Serves 6 to 8

2 tablespoons or more olive oil
1 ½ lbs. turkey or beef kielbasa, halved lengthwise then cut in to ½ – inch pieces
1 large onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, coarsely chopped
1 green bell pepper, coarsely chopped
4 large garlic cloves, chopped
4 15 oz cans beans, drained
2 cups chicken or vegetable broth or water
1 14 oz can diced tomatoes in juices
3 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 generous splash dry red wine (optional)
3 small bay leaves
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons ground cumin

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add kielbasa; sauté until beginning to brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer kielbasa to a bowl. If necessary, add enough oil to the pot to measure 2 tablespoons, or discard all but 2 tablespoons of drippings. Add onions, both bell peppers, and garlic. Saute until beginning to brown, about 10 minutes. Add beans, broth or water, tomatoes with juice, chili powder, sugar, vinegar, bay leaves, oregano, cumin, and red wine, if using. Bring chili to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer 45 minutes. Return kielbasa to the pot. Reduce heat to low. Simmer, uncovered, until chili is thick, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Source: Four Bean and Kielbasa Chili