I was a little late to the "cook beans from scratch" party, having assumed canned beans were just as good. But then I plunked down $9 for a bag of Rancho Gordo cannellini beans (after finding them at the Blue Hill Cafe). These are like the filet mignon of white beans, as meaty as a bean can be.
The heirloom beans add a nice texture to the smooth butternut squash puree and chewy kale, making the soup a filling lunch any time of year.
Butternut Squash Soup with White Beans and Kale
1 T. Olive oil 2 Garlic cloves, minced
1 Medium onion, roughly chopped
2 Carrots, roughly chopped
2 Celery stalks, roughly chopped
1 Quart Chicken broth (or, if you cook your beans from scratch, try using the bean broth)
1 Butternut squash, peeled, seeded and roughly chopped (about four cups)
1 Head of kale, de-stemmed and torn into bite sized pieces
14 oz. Cannellini beans, cooked or canned, drained
Freshly ground black pepper
In a large stockpot or Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium high heat.
Add onions and cook for one minute before adding garlic and cooking for an extra two minutes.
Add carrot and celery and saute for five minutes.
Add broth and bring to boil before adding squash.
Cook until squash is tender (about 10 minutes); remove from stove and puree with immersion blender or in batches in a regular blender.
Return puree to stove and bring back to low boil; add kale and cook until tender (about eight minutes).
Add white beans, salt and pepper and cover, turning off stove.
Let stand for 10 minutes before eating.