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
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)
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
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
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.