Hearty Kale, Squash and Bean Soup
A substantial main course soup that usually contains beans or other legumes and lots of garden vegetables, call this soup a potage, if you like. Hard squash gives the soup body. Try acorn, Kabocha or delicata squash for a change from the ubiquitous butternut. This soup reheats beautifully, gaining character in the process, so it’s an ideal dish to prepare in advance.
- Serves: 4 persons
- 2pounds winter squash, such as acorn, Hubbard or butternut, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- Salt and pepper
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- 1large leek, white and light green parts cut into small dice
- 2medium onions, cut into small dice
- ½pound semi-dry Spanish chorizo or smoked kielbasa, cut into thin coins
- 3garlic cloves, minced
- ¼teaspoon red-pepper flakes
- 3cups cooked cannellini beans, from 1 pound dry or use 2 (15-ounce) cans, rinsed and drained
- 8cups water, bean broth or vegetable stock, plus more as needed
- 1pound kale, mustard greens or beet greens, tough stems removed, leaves blanched briefly, squeezed dry and cut into 1/2-inch ribbons
Step 1Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Put the squash cubes on a baking sheet, season with salt and pepper, and coat lightly with olive oil. Roast until tender and lightly caramelized, about 20 minutes. Set aside.
Step 2Meanwhile, in a heavy soup pot, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high. Add leeks, salt lightly and let cook, stirring, for about 5 minutes, until softened but still bright green. Remove leeks and set aside to stir into soup later.
Step 3Add a little more oil to the pot, then add the onions. Season with salt and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the chorizo, garlic and red-pepper flakes, and cook for 2 minutes. Add cooked beans and 8 cups water, bean broth or vegetable stock, bring to a simmer, and cook gently for about 30 minutes. Taste and correct seasoning.
Step 4Gently stir in the cooked squash, kale and reserved leeks, and cook for 10 minutes more on low heat. Add a little more broth or water if the potage seems too thick. Check seasoning and adjust as needed.
Step 5To serve, ladle into bowls. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil.