What: White Bean and Butternut Squash Soup
Where: The Art of Simple Food
Who: Alice Waters
This is soup is just plain pleasing. It has a good depth of flavor from the sage, bay, and onions, and a wonderful mild sweetness from the squash. The beans fill the corners nicely.
Just before serving, I added 2 pounds chopped roasted chicken thighs to the soup. A good pork sausage would be an excellent addition, either cooked with the onions and herbs for a heartier tasting soup, or added sliced on top. With the addition of the meat, this soup can feed 6-8.
For cooking the soup, I used my 7 Quart Cuisinart Dutch Oven. Waters calls for soaking the beans ahead of time and then simmering until the beans are tender. She does not say to cover the pot; however, I ended up needing to because the water was evaporating quickly. She also does not specify an amount of salt; I used 2 teaspoons. I also added a pinch of salt to the onions and herbs as they cooked.
Waters says to serve the soup “over thickly sliced country-style or levain bread that has been brushed with duck fat or olive oil and toasted until crips and golden brown.” I’d say that’s absolutely perfect. She also mentions that Delicata, acorn, kabocha, and french pumpkin can be used in place of butternut. She calls for the butternut squash to be peeled, which I find is most easily done with a potato peeler.