Summer has come and gone and we’re gearing up for shorter days, longer nights, cooler temperatures, colorful leaves, and long sleeves! I get excited to use fresh fall produce, like squash, sweet potatoes, and apples, and I get excited about comfort food dishes. And since it finally cooled down this past weekend, I made my first soup first of the year!
This loaded roasted butternut squash soup starts with a rustic butternut squash puree base, and then lots of healthy toppings are added in — kale, pinto beans, carrot, bell pepper and corn. Bacon adds a savory (and optional) finishing touch!
Loaded Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
- 6 cups low-sodium vegetable broth (or chicken, for non-vegetarian)
- 1.5 lbs butternut squash—quartered, seeded, peeled and cut into cubes
- 5 thyme sprigs
- 2 garlic cloves, halved
- 2 medium leeks, white and pale green parts only, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 3 celery ribs, cut into 2-inch pieces
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 4 slices of bacon, cut crosswise (optional)
- 1/2 inch thick 2 packed cups coarsely chopped collards or kale
- 15- ounce can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 medium carrot, small diced
- 1 red bell pepper, small diced
- 1 cup corn kernels (fresh or canned)
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
1. In a large, heavy pot, combine the broth, squash, thyme, garlic, leeks and celery and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over low heat for 45 minutes.
2. In a medium skillet, heat the vegetable oil. Add the bacon strips and cook over moderately high heat, turning once, until crisp, about 7 minutes.
3. Discard the thyme sprigs from the soup. Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender. Return the soup to the pot.
4. Add the bacon, kale, pinto beans, carrot, bell pepper and corn and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, about 7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.
To make ahead, the soup can be refrigerated overnight and reheated.