Saturday, February 27, 2010

Soup Week 8 - WHITE PINTO BEAN & SQUASH SOUP

Scored big at the annual Lions Super Flea Market -- a farmer from Langham was selling her lentils, chickpeas and white pinto beans. White pinto beans are a new variety bred by the University of Saskatchewan for export to the US and Mexico. As far as I know, they aren't for sale in Saskatchewan, except perhaps at the Super Flea Market!

Pictured is my new soup pot.


Pinto Bean and Squash Soup
A good soup begins with a good stock. Good stock is made at home. I save all vegetable scraps in the freezer (onion ends, carrot peels, celery trimming, herb stems, tomato peels, etc.) and use them to make vegetable stock: place all the vegetable scraps in a pot of water, add a bay leaf and a few peppercorns, boil, simmer for an hour or two (lid off), cool and strain. Discard the vegetables (ie: compost).

2 tbsp canola oil
2 cups chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped carrot
3 big cloves of garlic, chopped
1 tsp mixed dried oregano and thyme
6 cups vegetable stock
2 cups squash, small dice
4 cups cooked pinto beans
3 tbsp tomato paste
salt and pepper to taste
cheddar cheese for garnish

Heat the oil in a soup pot. Add the onion to cook while you chop the celery, carrots and garlic. Stir these into the onions and cook until the veggies start to soften. Stir in the herbs.

When the veggies are soft and starting to stick to the pot, add the stock, squash and pinto beans. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer until the squash is cooked, about 20 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste. Season with salt and pepper to your taste.

To serve, ladle the soup into bowls and sprinkle with grated cheddar cheese. Like just about all soups, this one is better the next day. If you can wait.

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