Squash, Kale and Mixed Bean Soup

Serves 6
Preparation time 15 minutes
Cooking time 45 minutes

Ingredients: 

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
500 g (1 lb) butternut squash, halved, deseeded, peeled and diced
2 small carrots, peeled and diced
500 g (1 lb) tomatoes, skinned (optional) and roughly chopped
400 g (13 oz) can mixed beans, drained
900 ml (1½ pints) vegetable or chicken stock
150 ml (¼ pint) half-fat crème fraîche
100 g (3½ oz) kale, torn into bite-sized pieces
salt and pepper

Squash, Kale and Mixed Bean Soup
Heat the oil in a saucepan over a medium-low heat, add the onion and fry gently for 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and smoked paprika and cook briefly, then add the squash, carrots, tomatoes and mixed beans.

Read also: CHICKEN AND TOFU MISO NOODLES

Pour in the stock, season with salt and pepper and bring to the boil, stirring frequently. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 25 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.

Stir in the crème fraîche, then add the kale, pressing it just beneath the surface of the stock. Cover and cook for 5 minutes or until the kale has just wilted. Ladle into bowls and serve with warm garlic bread.

For cheesy squash, pepper & mixed bean soup, make as above, replacing the carrots with 1 cored, deseeded and diced red pepper. Pour in the stock, then add 65 g (2½ oz) Parmesan cheese rinds and season. Cover and simmer for 25 minutes. Stir in the crème fraîche but omit the kale. Discard the Parmesan rinds, ladle the soup into bowls and top with grated Parmesan.

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