Basque Pumpkin and White Bean Soup

Discussion in 'Food and nutrition' started by Ann McMaster, Apr 18, 2006.

  1. Ann McMaster

    Ann McMaster Guest

    Basque Pumpkin and White Bean Soup

    Recipe from: The Greens Cookbook: Extraordinary Vegetarian Cuisine from
    the Celebrated Restaurant by Deborah Madison, 1987

    The Stock:
    Use the cooking water from the beans combined with a light stock made from
    the following:
    seeds and parings from a 1 pound pumpkin or winter squash
    1-1/2 cups leek greens, chopped and washed
    5 parsley branches
    4 cloves garlic, peeled and left whole
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    6 cups cold water

    First, cut the pumpkin in half, then scoop out the seeds and stringy
    fibers with a metal spoon. Next, cut the halves into slices an inch or so
    thick, and cut the skins off each slice with a paring knife and set them
    aside. Put the seeds and parings in a pot with the rest of the stock
    ingredients, bring to a boil, simmer for 30 minutes, and then strain.

    The Beans:
    1/2 cup Cannellini or Great Northern beans
    3 fresh sage leaves
    1 large clove garlic, peeled and left whole
    1 bay leaf
    2 thyme branches
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    5-6 cups water

    Cover the beans with water and soak them overnight. Pour off the soaking
    water and put the beans in a pot with the rest of the ingredients and
    bring them to a boil. Skim off any foam that rises to the surface, lower
    the heat and cook the beans at a slow boil until they are tender, 45 minutes
    to an hour. Drain the beans and reserve the cooking water.

    The Vegetables:
    Peeled and seeded pumpkin slices from the stock
    2 tablespoons virgin olive oil
    3 leeks, white part only, quartered and cut into 1/4" pieces
    2 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4" cubes
    1 celery heart or 2 outer stalks, cut into 1/4" dice
    1 large clove garlic, finely minced
    1-2 teaspoons nutritional yeast (optional)
    2 large sage leaves
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    Reserved cooking water from the beans
    2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
    Additional olive oil for garnish

    Cut the pumpkin slices into 1/2" squares. Warm the oil in a soup pot and
    add the pumpkin, vegetables, garlic, nutritional yeast (if using), sage,
    and salt. Stir to coat everything with a film of oil, and cook over
    medium-low heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour in the stock
    and the cooking water from the beans (about 8 cups in all). Bring to a
    boil then lower the heat and simmer for about 1/2 hour, until the pumpkin
    begins to soften and fall apart. Add the beans and continue cooking until
    the pumpkin has broken into a smooth puree. Taste for salt and season with
    more if needed as well as a generous grinding of black pepper. Serve the
    soup with the parsley and a small spoonful of olive oil stirred into each
    bowl. As the soup sits, the flavors will develop, so it can be made one or
    two days in advance of serving. Can be warmly contrasted with a pinot noir
    or a wood-aged chardonnay.

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