… because we could all use a little comfort food today.
This cozy white bean and butternut squash soup is ultimate, soul-warming, nourishing goodness. The pot is full of garlic and herbs and Fall veggies and good stock, and it’s no wonder I keep going back to variations of this recipe, over and over again.
It’s the sort of cozy, cold-weather soup that I crave all season long, but especially need right now. And I’m guessing many of you do too.
This is not ordinarily a political space. To the contrary, it’s a place to ramble about my love of berries, and chocolate, and comforting fall soups. It’s generally frivolous, a space where we can bond over recipes, and ingredients, and sharing a meal. But I’m making an exception today, because this election has affected me and my family, and those I love, on a deeply personal level, and I can’t not say something.
I was so hopeful yesterday, and while I expected this bitter race would end in a close finish, seeing my friends take their young daughters along with them to the polls throughout the day, hearing stories of women in their nineties, born before women even had the right to vote, casting their ballot for the first female president, was inspiring and emotional, and important.
I didn’t vote for Hillary simply because she’s a woman, but I don’t think I realized just how meaningful it was to me, or how deeply gutted I would feel by her loss, until the results rolled in late last night.
To see demagoguery, and vitriol, and misogyny champion over progressive ideals – and basic respect for human rights – is profoundly disheartening. I’m sad and ashamed. Not just as a woman, or a democrat, but as an American, and human being.
Because I’m at a loss as to what else to do right now – and this still doesn’t seem real – I’m channeling my heartbreak into cooking. I find so much peace and joy in the kitchen, and good, homemade cooking is one of the best ways I know how to show love.
I have to believe that love and respect and kindness will triumph in the years to come. That as a deeply-divided nation we can move forward with peace, and healing, and come together again. That we will do better, and work harder, for the next generation.
“…to all the little girls who are watching this, never doubt that you are valuable and powerful and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world to pursue and achieve your own dreams.” – HRC
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and large-diced
- 1 large yellow or sweet onion, minced
- 1/2 Tbsp fresh garlic, crushed
- 1 Tbsp unsalted butter¹
- 1/4 tsp dried thyme
- 1/4 tsp dried rosemary
- 1/8 tsp dried oregano
- 1 small lemon, juiced²
- 4 cups (32 oz) rich chicken or vegetable stock
- kosher salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 (15 oz) can cooked cannelini beans, drained (not rinsed)
- 1-1/2 cups (loosely-packed) kale³, rough stems removed and torn into small pieces
- Heat the olive oil in a heavy-bottomed stock pot over medium heat until shimmering. Add the butternut squash, and cook, turning occasionally, until just beginning to caramelize and soften, about 4-5 minutes. Transfer the butternut squash to a plate.
- Add the onion to the pot, and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent, and just beginning to brown. Add the garlic, and cook for another minute or two. Add the butter, and as it melts, stir in the herbs. Let cook for another minute or two until the onions are lightly golden.
- Add the butternut squash back to the pot, along with the lemon juice and stock, and stir to combine. Cover, and bring the stock just to a boil, then turn the heat down to low, and let simmer uncovered for about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Add the white beans and torn kale leaves, and continue to simmer until warmed through, about 3-5 minutes. If using a more delicate green, such as spinach, add right before serving. Serve warm with crusty bread. Enjoy!
¹ Make it vegan: omit the butter, or use vegan butter (such as Earth Balance spread)
² If you can find them, Meyer lemons… in season in Winter.
³ Feel free to substitute spinach, Swiss chard, or your favorite tender green for the kale.