Indian summer has hit Monterey. Last week was in the 90's! Friday after Cam got home from class, the three of us got in our bathing suits and drove straight down the road to the beach to jump in the ocean and cool off. I'm so thankful we can do that! Saturday afternoon, we were back at the beach, for a bonfire dinner. So for us, it turns out that this wonderful, creamy, nutty, satisfying soup is now a little out of season. But for those of you actually experiencing chilly weather, this recipe is for you! It tastes just how I imagined and was hoping it would when I began adding in the roasted butternut squash, garlic, sweet potatoes, and rosemary and sage from our front yard. I hope you enjoy it! If you ever make one of my recipes (thank you!!) please send me a photo of the food or even better, enjoying it around the table together. I'd love to start posting them here :)
Roasted Butternut Squash and White Bean Soup
1 large butternut squash, peeled and cubed
4 sweet potatoes, roughly peeled and cubed
4-8 whole garlic cloves, peeled
30 oz (or 2 cans) great white beans, rinsed
15 oz (or 1 can) cannellini beans, rinsed
about 4 C chicken stock (not low-sodium)
1 yellow onion, chopped
fine sea salt
4 fresh sage leaves
4 fresh small rosemary sprigs
1 teaspoon ancho chile pepper
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 C grated parmesan, plus more for garnish
1/2 pint heavy whipping cream (optional)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil. Toss the squash, sweet potatoes and garlic cloves on the baking sheet with a generous amount of olive oil and fine sea salt. I love the taste of garlic, but if you do not, use only 4 cloves instead of 8. Roast for 35-40 minutes, or until baked through and lightly browned. Set aside.
During the last 15 minutes or so of roasting the vegetables, saute the onion with a pinch of sea salt and a good glug of olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Once the onions are translucent and lightly brown, add the beans, rosemary sprigs and sage leaves along with another drizzle of olive oil. Stir and allow the flavors to marry for a few minutes. Add in the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Simmer. Add in two tablespoons of olive oil, 1 good teaspoon of salt, the dried oregano and ancho pepper.
Using a food processor (or blender!), ladle in the soup with the roasted vegetables, blending on low speed. I prefer this soup to be a little chunky, but please smooth out the texture as much as you like. Return the blended soup to the pot and continue to simmer until ready to eat.
Once ready to serve, stir in the parmesan and heavy whipping cream. We really liked this without the cream, and then we really liked it with. Try both! Garnish with freshly grated parmesan cheese and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. It's wonderful with a glass of Chardonnay or Cabernet Sauvignon.