A smooth squash soup emboldened with beans.
1 cup cooked or canned black beans
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 small red onion, chopped
1 fresh hot chili (like jalapeño), seeded and minced
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tbsp lime juice
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
3 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 tbsp minced garlic
1-1/2 lb. winter squash (like butternut or pumpkin), cut into cubes
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
6 cups vegetable stock or water
Step 1: Drain the beans; if they're canned, rinse them before draining. Combine the tomatoes, onion, chili, beans, cilantro, lime juice, and half the salt and pepper in a bowl. Stir and then let the salsa sit while the soup simmers (or you can make it up to 1 day in advance and refrigerate until you're ready to make the soup).
Step 2: Put the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. When it's hot, add the onion and garlic, and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the squash, chili powder, cumin, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Step 3: Add the vegetable stock, bring to a boil and reduce the heat so the soup bubbles gently. Cover and cook, stirring once in a while until squash is tender and falling apart, 20 to 25 minutes.
Step 4: Transfer the soup to a blender (working in batches if necessary) or use an immersion blender to carefully purée the soup. Reheat it until just bubbling, adding more water if necessary. Top each bowl of soup with some black bean salsa, and serve.
Squash Soup With Apple Salsa
Perfect in winter. For the salsa, use green apples instead of the tomatoes. if you'd like to change the seasoning, use cinnamon instead of cumin.
Reprinted with permission from Mark Bittman's The VB6 Cookbook (2014 Clarkson Potter).