Spicy Vegetarian Butternut Squash Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 butternut squash (large, about 1.5 lbs.)
  • salt1-butternut-soup-beans-500x500-kalynskitchen.jpg
  • ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 cups finely chopped onion
  • 2 cups chopped celery (finely)
  • 6 cloves garlic (finely minced, about 1 T minced garlic)
  • 6 cups vegetable stock (or canned vegetable broth, or slightly more, if you’d like a thinner soup)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin (or more)
  • 15 ounces black beans
  • 1 red bell pepper (medium, chopped small)
  • 1/2 cups chopped cilantro (plus more to garnish soup if desired)
  • 2 tablespoons Tabasco Green Pepper Sauce (or other jalapeno hot sauce of your choice)
  • low-fat sour cream (or plain Greek yogurt to garnish soup, if desired)

Instructions:

Preheat oven or toasted oven to 400F/200C.  Using a large chef’s knife, cut butternut squash in half and use a sharp spoon to scoop out seeds.  Place squash on a baking sheet and season with salt and fresh ground black pepper.  Roast squash until it is soft enough to pierce easily with a fork, and starting to slightly brown, about 50-60 minutes.  Let squash cool enough to handle.
While squash is roasting, chop onion and celery and mince the garlic.  (I used fresh garlicchopped with my  favorite garlic chopper and then minced with a knife.)  Heat olive oil in large non-stick soup pot and saute onions and celery until they’re soft, about 7 minutes.  Add minced garlic and cook 2-3 minutes more.  Add 2 cups of vegetable broth and simmer the mixture about 10 minutes.
As soon as the squash has cooled enough to handle, scrape the flesh away with the skin and mix it with the other 4 cups of broth and the ground cumin.  Add this mixture to the soup pot and simmer about 20 minutes; then use anImmersion blender, blender, or food processor to puree the soup.  (I used an immersion blender, which is by far the easiest way to do it; if you only have a blender or food processor, be very careful with the hot soup.)
While the soup simmers, rinse the black beans well with cold water and let them drain in a colander.  Chop the cilantro and red bell pepper.  After you’re pureed the soup add the beans, red bell pepper, and cilantro and simmer about 15-20 minutes more, adding a little more vegetable stock if you’d like a thinner soup.  Stir in the Green Tabasco Sauce to taste and serve hot, garnished with low-fat sour cream or plain Greek yogurt if desired and tortilla chips if desired.
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