Ayamole de Calabaza (Butternut & White Bean Soup)

Posted by Tracey Vowell on

Put the cup of navy beans on to cook, with about 5 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a gently simmer. I find that navy beans cook in about an hour and a half, and may need a bit more liquid about half way through.
Because we want the beans relatively whole, and the water is part of your liquid for the soup, don’t be shy about adding a bit, or using your choice of stock, instead of water as the cooking liquid. When the beans are tender, season with salt, and set aside in the liquid, to have time to absorb the salt.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Remove the stem, and split the butternut lengthwise, carefully. Leave the seeds where they are, and place, cut side down, onto a sheet pan with sides.

Place the pan in the oven, and roast, at least 1 hour, until the butternut is thoroughly tender. About 30 minutes in, break the head of garlic into cloves, and add, along with the peppers, to the roasting pan of squash

When the squash is thoroughly softened, remove and carefully turn the cut side up, to allow for quicker cooling.

When cool enough to handle, use a kitchen spoon to scoop the seeds directly into a blender cup. Peel and add the garlic. Pull the stems from the peppers, and remove the seeds. You need not be particularly careful in this operation, as it will be strained, but more seeds and membrane means more heat, so follow your own path on this.

I don’t bother removing the skin from the butternut. It is tender enough that it will blend, and as is the case with most vegetables, the real nutrients are in the skin, and I want those.

Break the pieces up enough that the squash will blend well, and adding liquid conservatively, blend the squash, and strain into the soup pot with the seeds and tomatoes. You can certainly use bean water as a blending liquid.

Once all of the squash is in the pan, adjust the consistency as needed, and gently bring the pan up to a boil. Using a slotted spoon, add the beans to the soup. 

I think this soup is particularly good with a little crab or shrimp, but chicken, or even a little sausage, will work. Make it your own.

Maybe that last simmer would be good with a stem or two of fresh thyme, or a couple bay leaves. Feel the need for spices? Carry on. I tend not to use spices, and lean toward pushing the savory side of things, so I think some well browned mushrooms would make a great addition, especially if they were grilled, and would lend a smoky flavor.

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  • Beautiful.

    Erin on

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