Two Bean, Butternut Squash & Quinoa Soup

When I was a kid I ate leftovers for breakfast at 6am. Whether it was steak or lasagna or salad, it had my name on it for the next day. Yep, I knew exactly how to work the microwave at the ripe age of 4 and I wasn’t afraid to use it, my sister even joked about it during her maid of honor speech at my wedding. But now? Forget it. I can’t even look at leftovers without cringing a little. I don’t know when the switch happened but I’m guessing it was somewhere around the time I realized that day old food doesn’t taste the same as fresh. My tongue is a snob, what can I say? But here’s the kicker.. I’ve eaten this soup every day for the past 4 days. So you know it’s good.

This soup is vegetarian, vegan if you use Earth Balance butter, but you can certainly add ground chicken or ground turkey if you like. I found that it was hearty enough just as it is. This soup warms you up and highlights a lot of wonderful fall flavors. Mix in some cool, creamy avocado chunks in each bowl and you really can’t go wrong with this one!

Two Bean, Butternut Squash & Quinoa Soup
Serves 4 – 6

1 small onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 – 15oz can cannellini beans, drained & rinsed
1 – 15oz can black beans, drained & rinsed
2 Roma tomatoes, chopped
2 cups butternut squash, peeled, seeded & cubed
1 cup cooked quinoa, cooked in water
1 lime, juice & zest reserved
1 tbsp  ground cumin
2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp Chipotle powder, hot sauce OR cayenne pepper (you can adjust the amount depending on your heat preference)
2 tbsp butter
4 cups water or vegetable stock
2 tbsp chopped chilantro
1 avocado, cubed
2 tsp olive oil
salt & pepper to taste

Toss the butternut squash in 1 tsp olive oil, salt & pepper and roast in a 400ºF oven for 15 minutes or until it starts to brown and set aside. Heat the remaining olive oil in a large soup pot at medium high heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 3 – 5 minutes or until they start to caramelize.*If you are using meat, this is the time to add it. Just saute it until it’s cooked through.

Next, add the beans and tomatoes. When the tomatoes start to char, add the spices, turn the heat down and add the water or stock. Simmer the soup for 15 minutes. Add the roasted squash and cooked quinoa. Turn off the heat and stir in the lime juice, zest and butter. Taste for seasoning and serve hot with avocado chunks.


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