Meatless Monday – Winter Squash Soup

Winter Squash Soup with Updated Wedge

Winter Squash, Bitter Green and Garbanzo Bean Soup with Updated Wedge Salad

Shorter days and colder temperatures call for food that warms you from the inside out like soup. I love broth based soups that are full of flavor but are also a meal in themselves without adding lots of extra calories. I wanted to pair it with a traditional crispy wedge salad but without the bacon, even though I know there is No Substitute for bacon, I replaced it with salted buttery pecans to mimic that salty, fatty, yumminess.

WINTER SQUASH SOUP
Ingredients:
1 whole kabocha squash (or other winter squash like butternut or acorn) peeled and cubed
5-6 cups vegetable broth
1 can garbanzo beans (or one cup soaked and cooked dry beans)
1 large bunch of super greens (kale, chard or spinach) washed
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/8 teaspoon smoked or other paprika
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red curry paste (optional)

DIRECTIONS:
Combine the squash and broth in a soup pot and simmer until the squash is almost tender (about 20 minutes). Add the rest of the ingredients and cook another five minutes. I love garlic, cumin and curry and tend to use a lot of these ingredients, however, this soup may be too delicate for a heavy hand so add the smallest amounts and taste before adding more. Stir in the greens and until they wilt. Serve hot.

UPDATED WEDGE SALAD
Ingredients:\
1 head iceberg lettuce
half pint cherry tomatoes
1/4 cup blue cheese
2 or 3 scallions
8 oz raw pecans
vinaigrette: Olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS:
Roughly chop pecans and sautee in a butter/olive oil combination until aromatic. Salt liberally. Let cool.
Slice iceberg lettuce in quarters or eights. Top with chopped tomatoes, blue cheese, chopped scallions and pecans. Drizzle with vinaigrette.

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