Saturday, April 19, 2008
Desi and I are late sleepers. For a long time we both worked the late shift in newsrooms and it is hard, to this day many years after, for us to fall asleep before midnight. As a result, we have gotten into a late cycle with almost all of what we do, including dinner, which rarely makes it to the table before 9 pm and sometimes close to 10.
Now it's a well-known fact that eating your dinner pretty close to bedtime is just not a good idea, because your metabolism slows down during sleep. We try to combat this by making the meal a fairly light one, usually a chapati or two with some dal and subzi.
Sometimes, it is just a bowl of steaming soup with chunky, crusty bread.
When I make soup for dinner I like it to be as nutritious and hearty as possible without being too heavy. I love adding beans, because they offer you loads of protein and fiber for a handful of calories.
For the soup I am about to share with you, I went with lima beans which, for some reason, don't get their share of the spotlight in my legume-loving kitchen as often as they should. These amazing beans are not only super-healthy, but they are gorgeously creamy and delicious to boot. What more can you ask for?
I combined the lima beans with a butternut squash which made a wonderfully healthy addition to the soup.
For the garnish I used finely diced avocado- the creamy blandness of the avocado paired perfectly with the dish, as did its pale green color with the soup's elegant orange.
The soup was delicious-- silky and complex with the flavors of garlic and red chili powder. And it looked gorgeous to boot!
I am sending this soup as my entry to the Well-Seasoned Cook Susan, who is this week hosting the Weekend Herb Blogging event, started by Kalyn. Thanks, Susan, for hosting it!
Vegan Silk: Butternut-Lima Bean Soup
1 cup large Lima beans, soaked for about 8 hours and cooked until tender
1 medium red onion
1 medium butternut squash, cut into big chunks and then roasted in the oven at 350 degrees for about 20-30 minutes or until tender. Peel the squash, cut into a smaller dice, and reserve
4 large cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp red chili powder
Salt to taste
1/2 avocado, pitted, peeled and finely diced
1 tbsp canola oil
Heat the canola oil in a saucepan.
Add the onions and saute on medium heat until translucent.
Add the garlic and stir about a minute.
Add the butternut squash and chili powder. Cook for about a couple of minutes, stirring occasionally, so the squash breaks down further.
Add half the cooked beans and salt to taste.
Bring to a boil.
Turn off the heat and, with an immersion blender or in a regular blender, puree the soup until it acquires a rich, creamy texture. (Pureeing half the beans gives the soup its creamy texture while the remaining limas go into the soup whole to contribute a hearty heft)
Return the saucepan to heat, add the remaining lima beans and season with salt if required.
Warm to a simmer, then turn off the heat and ladle the hot soup into bowls.
Garnish with the diced avocado and enjoy with some bread!