white bean, butternut squash & kale soup, revisited on a winter’s morning

It’s a beautiful sunny winter’s morning here with about five inches of fresh snow that fell after sunset yesterday. I’m feeling happy right now, with coffee and a lovely day ahead of me, vindicated in my decision to go grocery shopping yesterday then soak some beans. My snow dog has curled up now on the deck outside my kitchen watching over our green space beyond, and my cat has curled up on my bed. It’s time now for me to put on a pot of white bean and kale soup, then go play ball while I shovel my driveway.

This is a recipe I first made years ago– over time I have found that a 50-50 mix of Great Northern and Cannellini white beans provides the most delicious flavor and texture.


  • 1  3/4 cups white beans
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium red potato, chopped
  • 2 cups chopped butternut squash
  • 1 medium rutabaga, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 2 T apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 c basmati rice
  • 2 tablespoons rosemary (yes, tablespoons; rub between fingers/palms to crush
  • 2 teaspoons basil
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon marjoram
  • 1 bunch Lacinato kale, excluding thickest ends of stems, cut into thin ribbons
  • 1/2-1 t salt and pepper to taste, added after beans have cooked
  • parmesan or pecorino cheese


Rinse then soak beans overnight, or for at least 8 hours. Drain and rinse well. Cover with fresh water, bring just to a boil, then simmer for about 1 hour until beans are just becoming soft. Remove from heat.

Using large 5 quart soup pot with lid, saute onion in 2-3 T olive oil for 2-3 minutes, then add garlic and potatoes. Saute for 3-5 minutes, stirring until potatoes are lightly browned. Add butternut squash, rutabaga, carrots, celery and spices. Stir all vegetables until spices are well mixed. With pot over medium heat, add canned tomatoes in their juice, apple cider vinegar and basmati. Stir in 5 cups fresh water that is close to but off boil. Partially cover and monitor heat until soup comes almost to boil, then reduce heat to medium low, cover and cook for about 30 minutes to an hour. Checking water level occasionally, add more water as necessary. Continue to stir and check beans, rutabaga, and carrots for doneness: keep simmering until each are soft but not so mushy as to fall apart.  Add salt and pepper to taste, then add chopped kale, cover and cook for another 10 minutes or so until kale is bright green and lightly cooked.  Serve topped with parmesan cheese. Makes 8-10 servings. Freezes well.

Note on Bouillon: Beware! Many brands of bouillon cubes have partially hydrogenated oils, palm or cotton seed oil, MSG, and a grossly high serving of sodium- all things to be avoided, certainly not added to your food.

butternut squash, green apple, & chevre red rice salad

I finished my Beet and Chevre Red Rice Salad but wanted more! So I thought I’d try a new variation on the fall theme…


  • 3/4 cup Bhutanese red rise (makes 2 cups cooked)
  • 1/2 butternut squash, roasted then cubed
  • 1-2 medium cloves garlic, roasted then minced
  • 1 medium-large granny smith apple, julienned
  • 2-3 shallots, chopped
  • 1 t each rosemary and thyme
  • 3 cups baby spinach, chopped into ribbons
  • 4 oz fresh chevre. gorgonzola would be nice variation.
  • 1/4 cups walnuts
  • walnut or olive oil and balsamic vinegar


Rinse rice well, then cover with 1 3/4 cups fresh water. Add a pinch of salt, bring to a boil then simmer cover for 20 minutes over low heat. Check for doneness, drain off any remaining water, then fluff with fork and transfer to casserole dish. While rice is cooking, slice 1/2 butternut into 3/4 inch half round slices, remove hard skin, and place on lightly oiled roasting pan along with garlic cloves. Place herbs onto squash, then roast at 375F for about 15 min, flip then roast for another 15-20 min until pass the ‘fork test’ for softness. Don’t overcook- remove garlic while continuing to cook squash until soft but not mushy. Mince garlic into rice. Chop squash into small cubes, and add to rice.  Chop shallots and julienne the green apples, then add to casserole dish.  Remove stems from spinach, chop into ribbons, then add to rice mixture and stir to mix all well. Dress with Balsamic vinegar and walnut oil or olive oil. Serve covered with walnuts and generous small chunks of chevre stirred in. Heat gently before serving– I actually microwaved briefly– so that the chevre melds smoothly with the rice and fresh apples.

butternut squash & white bean comfort soup

This soup is quick and easy to make. The beans provide both protein and fiber, and the melted Toscano pepper cheese turns it into fabulous comfort food.


  • 1/2 large butternut squash, cubed  IMG_2342
  • 1 jewel yam, cubed
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1T rosemary
  • 1-2t thyme
  • 1/2 cube Celifibr brand vegetable bouillon dissolved in 1 cup boiling water
  • 4 additional cups water
  • 2 cans white kidney beans, drained and well rinsed
  • Toscano black pepper cheese, grated garnish


Pour 2-3 T olive oil into large soup pot. Slice yam into 1/4 inch rounds, peel away skin then cube. Chop butternut into 1/4 inch half rounds, remove skin then cube. Chop onion. Transfer these to soup pot to saute for 3-5 minutes, adding minced garlic and spices. Bring 1 cup water to boil, dissolve vegetable bouillon cube. Add to soup pot, cover, reduce heat and simmer until squash and yam are soft to fork test, about 10-15 minutes. Blend smooth using an immersion blender, or remove from heat and allow to cool before blending smooth in blender. Return to soup tureen, add drained and well rinsed white kidney beans. Serve topped with grated Toscano black pepper cheese.

adzuki beans with roasted butternut squash, red pepper & shallots


  • 1 cup dried adzuki beans
  • 8-12 oz tempeh, cubed
  • 1 medium butternut squash
  • 1 red pepper
  • 3-5 shallots
  • 1 small bunch red or rainbow chard, chopped into thin ribbons


Cull through, rinse, then soak adzuki beans in plenty of cold water for 6-8 hours. Drain, then rinse beans well. Cover with 3 cups fresh water, bring to boil, then simmer uncovered for about 1 hour until beans are soft but not mushy. (Never salt beans until after cooking.)

Cut tempeh into small cubes, then saute over medium heat in 2 T olive oil until browned. Transfer to casserole dish. Put 1 T olive IMG_1919oil into pan, return to heat and stir chopped red chard for 1-2 minutes, then add 2 T water, cover and steam over low heat for 2-3 minutes until bright in color but not mushy. Drain off any remaining liquid, then add to tempeh.

Preheat oven to 375F. Slice butternut squash in half lengthwise, scoop out seeds. Cut into one inch wide half rounds, pare off outer rind, then place on roasting pan or baking sheet prepared with 1-2 T olive oil. Remove skins from shallots and cut in half, place on baking sheet. Cut red pepper into 1/2 inch wide slices, place flat side down on baking sheet. Roast for 15-20 minutes, then check shallots and red pepper for doneness and turn squash over. Roast until red pepper and shallots are fragrant and lightly browned, squash is soft to ‘fork test’ but not mushy. Chop roasted squash and red pepper into medium bite sized pieces, add with chopped shallots to adzuki bean and tempeh mixture. Stir all together well.

pesto tofu with roasted veggies

Rich green and yellows, served on rustic brown stoneware this is a beautiful spring dinner.

1 lb firm tofu, cut into 6 servings each about 3/4 in thick
basil pesto (recipe follows)
1/2 medium sized butternut squash
1 large yellow pepper

Rinse then cut tofu into 6 servings, each about 3/4 inch thick. Place in 9×9 square pan, then spread basil pesto fully over top of each piece of tofu. Pour a little water into side of pan, so that it is barely up the side of the tofu pieces; tilt pan to disperse water carefully below/around the tofu so tofu will steam cook and not stick to bottom of pan. Bake uncovered at 350-375F for 25-30 minutes, until tofu has browned slightly and pesto forms nice crust.

Cut butternut squash into 3/4-1 inch thick half rounds. Chop large yellow pepper into thick strips. Lightly spread olive oil on baking sheet, then roast squash (sprinkled with crushed rosemary), and pepper at 350-375, checking and turning every ten minutes. Remove pepper when it browns lightly- squash will require longer roasting time.

butternut squash soup

1 medium butternut squash
1 medium jewel yam
1 large red pepper
2 stalks celery
2-3 medium cloves garlic
1 yellow onion
2 T rosemary, 1 T thyme, 3/4 t salt and fresh pepper to taste
fresh cranberries for garnish

Ask grocer to chop butternut squash in half lengthwise before you purchase – it’s hard, and this really helps. Scoop out seeds from bulb end, then place grocer’s flat side down on cutting board. Slice into thick one inch slices. Pare or cut off rind. Then chop into thick one inch cube pieces. You want 5-7 cups of squash. Then slice yams into thick one inch slices, then cube. Coarsely chop red pepper. Your goal is for all to be about the same size for roasting. Pour 2-3 T olive oil onto roasting pan, spread it evenly, then place chopped squash, yam and red pepper evenly in flat layer. Generously sprinkle rosemary and thyme on top. Add peeled whole garlic. Roast at 375 for 15 minutes, stir/flip peppers. Roast for another 5-10 minutes, checking peppers which will finish first. Remove peppers when done, continue to stir and check yam and squash with fork test every 5-10 minutes. Total roasting time about 30-40 minutes.

In large soup pot, saute chopped onion. Add chopped celery, 1 cup dissolved vegetable bouillon. Add roasted vegetables, stir, then add 5-6 cups water. Stir and simmer about 10 minutes. Either allow to cool or fill blender less than half full, then blend all to smooth consistency. Return to soup pot. Serve topped with large handful of fresh raw cranberries added just before heating to eat. Fabulous served with toasted dill rye bread and chevre cheese, a spinach salad with walnuts and satsumas.

butternut, chickpea, red lentil stew

scant 1 c dried chickpeas
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic
2 t cumin
1 T fresh ginger, finely minced
3 T tomato paste
4 cups butternut squash, peeled and chopped into small cubes
1 small jewel yam, chopped into small cubes
2 large carrots, chopped
2 T apple cider vinegar
fresh ground pepper
1/2 cube Celifibr brand vegetable bouillon, dissolved in 1 c boiling water
5 additional c water
1 lime
dry roasted unsalted peanuts

Cull then soak 1 c dried chickpeas in enough cold water to cover for 6 hours or overnight. (Alternatively, use the quick-soak method: place beans in large pot with enough water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to boil over high heat. Remove from heat and let stand covered for 1 hour.) Drain, rinse and drain.

In large soup pot with lid, saute chopped onions in 2-3 T olive oil for 2-3 minutes. Add minced garlic, cumin, minced ginger. Add tomato paste and dissolved bullion. Add drained chickpeas, rinsed red lentils, chopped butternut squash, yam, and carrots. Stir well. Add additional 5 c water, apple cider vinegar, black pepper. Cover and bring to simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Once simmering, turn heat down to low+ and simmer covered until chickpeas are tender, lentils and squash have begun to break down, about 3 hours. Once chickpeas are fully cooked, add 3/4 t sea salt. Makes about 8 big bowls of thick soup. Freezes well. High in vitamin A.

Serve with juice of lime squeezed on each bowl, top with dry roasted unsalted peanuts before serving. A little chopped fresh cilantro leaves on top are a nice addition if available.