butternut squash, herb & bean soup

butternut squash soup 

When you think of butternut squash soup, I bet a pureed version comes to mind. It’s the one we know best and probably one we keep making over and over. But sometimes it's worth going off the beaten path and giving a classic a good twist. This butternut squash soup is chunky, yet smooth and creamy. Cannelini beans mingle in the broth with purpose and deliver the protein needed to make it a more well-rounded meal. The herbs give off scents that scream comfort. Cheesy, smoky toast is the bonus. But my favorite part about it, is that it's my favorite soup to sneak in antiviral herbs such as rosemary and thyme (and heck, if you've got sage, throw it in there too!) At this time of year, when colds are so common, I try and sneak them in wherever possible to make the immune system just a little bit stronger (of course, this is a cumulative effort). This soup is a great start! 

Stay warm, stay cozy, make soup (with a twist)!

butternut squash, herb & bean soup 

makes 6½ cups

ingredients:

1 small butternut squash (about 2 lbs.), peeled and seeded
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
1 rib celery, finely chopped
1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
1 tbsp. thyme leaves, plus more for serving
2 tsp. rosemary leaves, finely chopped
4 cups vegetable broth
1 can (15 oz.) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
⅛ tsp. freshly grated nutmeg (optional) 
2 slices country-style sourdough bread
½ cup shredded smoked gouda 

On a cutting board, cut butternut squash into 1-1½-inch pieces. 

In a large pot, heat oil over medium. Add onion, celery, and garlic, season and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the squash, thyme, and rosemary, cook, stirring often, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add broth and bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until squash is tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. 

Preheat the broiler. In a blender, puree 2 cups of the soup (alternatively, with an immersion blender, pulse a few times just to puree some of the soup). Return soup to the pot and add the beans and nutmeg, if using; simmer 5 more minutes. Adjust seasoning, if needed. 

Place bread on a sheet tray and sprinkle with cheese. Place under broiler until cheese is melted, 1 to 2 minutes. Cut each slice in half. 

*To make it vegan: skip the smoked gouda :)

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