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Hearty (not heavy) Butternut Squash Black Bean Soup

Butternut Squash Black Bean SoupJanuary is national soup month, and here’s a soup to celebrate January in your home. Of course, use organic ingredients: You’ll get more of those antioxidants that will keep you from “rusting” prematurely. You’ll keep our farmers and our soil healthier at the same time… Like all my soup recipes, this is a throw everything in one pot, easy-peasy soup.

Afraid to try red palm oil? Don’t be! Red palm oil has been found less likely to cause clogging of the arteries than flaxseed oil, fish oil or olive oil! And we know how healthy those oils are, don’t we? Red palm oil is a staple in Africa and Asia, and it contains tocotrienols (the expensive part of vitamin E), mixed carotenoids, phytosterols, squalene and coenzyme Q10. All of these are said to be cardio- and neuro-protective. Great fat for the skin as well, plus you’ll go gaga over the bright orange color.

 Serves 4-6

2 Tbsp Navitas red palm oil

1 tsp black pepper

1 onion, rough chopped, about 2 C pinch nutmeg
4 cloves garlic, chopped ½ tsp turmeric powder
2 tomatoes, rough chopped 4 C water or vegetable broth
1 chili, chopped, or 1 tsp dried pizza chilies 2 C cooked black beans
20 oz (about 4 C peeled, cubed ¼ C chopped cilantro
Butternut squash ¼ C chopped parsley
1 tsp good salt

Yogurt, sour cream, optional

 Gently warm red palm oil in a soup pot. Add onion and sauté five minutes. Add garlic, tomatoes, chile, squash, salt, pepper, nutmeg and turmeric. Sauté another five minutes. Add water to the pot and bring soup to a boil. Turn down heat, cover pot and simmer 15 minutes. When squash is soft, blend soup using a food processor, blender or Vitamix. Pour into individual soup bowls and spoon hot black beans into the middle of each. Garnish with fresh cilantro and parsley. Feel free to offer dollops of yogurt or sour cream to add another layer of flavor.

Soup joke: Customer: Waiter, this soup tastes funny. Waiter: So laugh, sir.

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