We stuffed our bellies full with warm food, savoring every bite. The flavors meshed well together, and we washed them down with wine and hot mulled cider. Mom groaned at the dinner table as I was caramelizing the sugary tops of the creme brulées. She almost didn't make it.
It was the best Thanksgiving ever.
Today we will feast on this hearty soup.
Where will we be next Thanksgiving?
White bean and winter squash soup with pesto
Inspired by The Kitchn
1 (2 ½ lbs) butternut squash, or other winter squash
4 cloves garlic, unpeeled
1 tbsp safflower or other neutral oil
1 large leek (about 2 ½ cups chopped)
6 cups flavorful vegetable broth
4 cups cooked white beans (I used Great Northern)
Salt and pepper, to taste
Pesto, to taste and for garnishing (preferably homemade)
Preheat oven to 400F with rack in the center.
Halve the butternut squash lengthwise and scoop out seeds and stringy parts. Place facedown on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone baking mat, along with the unreeled garlic cloves. Bake in preheated oven for about 40 minutes, or until fork-tender. When done baking, let cool slightly before peeling the squash and chopping it into approximately ½-inch cubes. Let the garlic cool as well, and then peel and roughly chop.
Meanwhile, cut the tough dark green parts off of the leek, and slice the remaining white/ light green part in half lengthwise. Run under water to remove dirt. Slice the leeks thinly into half-moons.
Put the oil in a Dutch oven or heavy saucepan. Add the leeks and sauté over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Add the broth and bring to a simmer. Transfer the chopped roasted squash and garlic to the soup pot, along with the cooked beans. Bring to a simmer but do not boil or cook for a long time. Taste for salt and pepper.
Serve with a couple of dollops of pesto on top of each portion.