Roasted butternut white bean soup

Butternut and white bean soup

Butternut and white bean soup

In Kurisawa’s Ikiru, he describes a childhood memory, “Once when I was a child, I almost drowned. It’s just like that feeling. Darkness everywhere, and nothing for me to hold onto, no matter how hard I try.” This reminded me of Sleepy John Estes’ song Floating Bridge. It’s a beautiful, dream-like song, with repeated fragments of memory like waves washing over him – he nearly drowned, he was hid underneath the water five minutes, and when they dragged him out and laid him on a bed all he could hear was muddy water going round his head. And he’ll never forget the memory of people on the floating bridge, screaming and crying. It’s so powerful! So today’s Sunday collaborative playlist is on the subject of childhood memories. It could be of a person, or a food, or a song, or a definitive moment, any childhood memory will do.

And this soup is a bit like a wintery memory of summer. The squash is roasted, which makes the flavor rich and smoky, and the herbs – rosemary, sage, thyme, and tarragon – make it taste like a spring garden. The cauliflower and white beans make the soup lovely and velvety. I thought of this soup as Provencal, for some reason! The herbs, I guess!

Here’s your interactive playlist on childhood memories. Feel free to add anything you like!

1 largish butternut squash
1/2 cauliflower, florets only (about 2 cups)
bit of olive oil, to coat
2 T olive oil
1 shallot, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
2 t rosemary, chopped
1 t dried sage
1/2 cup white wine
1 can white beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 t salt
pinch nutmeg
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 T butter
2 T fresh tarragon
plenty of freshly ground pepper

Preheat the oven to 425. Cut the top and bottom off the squash and cut it in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds. Place the squash face-down on a baking sheet. Lightly coat the cauliflower in olive oil, and arrange around the squash. Roast until the squash is soft and dark – 40 – 45 minutes. You’ll want to take the cauliflower out once it’s nicely browned, which will only take about 25 – 30 minutes.

Warm the olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the shallot, bay leaves and garlic. Cook until the garlic starts to brown – a minute or two. Then add the other herbs except for the tarragon and the white wine. Cook a minute or two until it’s reduced and syrupy. Add the white beans and the vegetables. COok and stir for a minute, then add enough water to cover by about 1/2 inch. Cook for 15 – 20 minutes, until everything is warm and soft. Add the nutmeg, lemon and butter.

Remove the bay leaves and carefully blend or process the soup until silky and smooth. Add the tarragon, salt, and plenty of pepper, and serve.

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4 thoughts on “Roasted butternut white bean soup

  1. Roasted squash and white beans sound like the perfect hearty combination for winter soup. Now I just need to get up the willpower to attack a squash or two… :)

  2. The soup sounds lovely ! I see “I Wish” is on the playlist already. Maybe Ike and Tina Turner, River Deep, Mountain High, some little snippets of memory to sprinkle on the top.

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