22 January 2010

Black Bean Squash soup

So I'm slow to start contributing to this blog. Though I've talked about starting my own blog for ages, I haven't been doing much cooking lately. And sadly this recipe is more like an idea rather than a true recipe; I invented it, not lookng at a single recipe for inspiration nor measuring a single thing. The result was surprisingly tastey, even my roommates agreed.

We had a squash that's been sitting on the mantle above the fireplace since one of the last Columbia City (our neighborhood) farmer's markets in October, and it's slowly turned reddish from it's original green color, rather like leaves in the fall. Taking this as a sign that it was begging to be eaten and on the verge of rotting, I created this soup around it. I'm includying measurements here that I think are good estimations of what I actually used, but honestly I don't know for sure.


cooked black beans, maybe about 3 cans worth or half a 1lb bag
1 squash, I used kabocha (I think, though acorn squash or a similar type might even be better) cut into bite sized cubes and roasted until soft
1 medium onion, minced
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeño, minced
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
as much water/leftover bean broth from cooking as you want to make the soup the consistency you desire

The trickiest part is removing the skin from the squash, which can take a while. Once removed, cut the squash into bite sized pieces and coat with neutral oil. Roast the squash at 400 degrees about 30 minutes, maybe less, until it is soft. I'm not even convinced that roasting adds that much flavor, so alternatively you could cook it with the black beans unil soft and let me know how it tastes.

While the squash is roasting, saute the onions until softened, then add the garlic and be careful not to brown it too much. Then add all the ingredients to the black beans in a big pot and cook about 10-15 minutes until the flavors blend. Serve and enjoy!

Despite the Japanese name of the squash I used, all squash is native to central america, and therefore I decided to loosely use mexican seasonings for this recipe. The soup is slightly spicy, contrasting nicely with the sweet squash. If you make it too spicy, you can always add yogurt, sour cream, or even Mexican crema if you have it to take the edge off. Enjoy!

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