Yesterday I made the first soup of fall, brimming with winter vegetables and cannellini beans. It was utterly delicious, healthful and best of all, it warmed our souls on a cool-ish September evening.
The recipe comes from the same cookbook as a farro salad recipe I posted last year, “Healthy Dish of the Day,” by Kate McMillan. Kate proves that good cooking and healthfulness don’t have to be mutually exclusive, which is definitely in contrast to the food we ate on diets in the 1970’s. The mantra then was, “if it tastes good, you probably shouldn’t eat it.”
Despite its simplicity, this soup is very satisfying with its sweet, big chunks of butternut squash and creamy white beans. Swiss chard, a super-nutritious dark green leafy vegetable, cooks and tastes much like spinach. If you haven’t tried chard yet, I suggest you bite the bullet now.
Be brave: no risk, no gain.
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 Tbsp. fresh rosemary, minced
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
2 lb. butternut squash, peeled and cut into 3/4″ chunks
Salt and pepper to taste
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth, plus additional as needed
1 can (15-oz.) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 bunch Swiss chard, tough stems removed, coarsely chopped
Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add onion, bell pepper, rosemary and red pepper flakes. Sauté until the onion and bell pepper are tender, about 10 minutes. Add the squash, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring frequently, until the squash starts to soften, about 2 minutes. Add the broth and the beans. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the squash is tender, about 20 minutes.
Add the chard and simmer until wilted, about 3 minutes. Thin with more broth if desired. Taste and adjust seasoning, and serve.
Serves 4 to 6
WW Points per 4 servings: 6
WW Points per 6 servings: 4