This just might be my new favorite soup…it’s so comforting and bursting with all the fall things! It combines squash, mushrooms, leeks, rosemary, and spices and aromatics for a flavor-packed broth. It’s easily adapted by using any squash or veggies you’d like or adding in some sausage to beef it up a bit. Serve it with pasta (or not) and top with plenty of parmesan cheese.

Ingredient Highlight

Butternut squash (winter squash)! These dense, sweet, creamy root veggies are a great source of carotenoids (a precursor to vitamin A), vitamin C, vitamin B6, magnesium, and potassium. They are a really nourishing food for athletes and runners because they contain electrolytes, are a great source of complex carbohydrates and immune-boosting vitamins.

P.S. Choose squash that feels firm with no soft spots.

Servings 4 People
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 leek, dark green parts trimmed off, halved lengthwise, thinly sliced*
  • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 tsp kosher salt, divided
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tbsp chopped rosemary or sage or use 1 tsp dried
  • 2 tsp fennel seeds
  • ¼-½ red pepper flakes (optional)
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • 1 small butternut squash (about 1 lb), peeled, seeds removed, cut into ½-inch cubes (about 2 heaping cups)**
  • 8 oz cremini or button mushrooms, thinly sliced about 2 heaping cups
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 (15 oz) can cannellini beans (white beans), drained and rinsed
  • 4 cups loosely packed chopped kale
  • Pasta (cooked separately), for serving (optional)
  • Parmesan, for serving (optional)
  • *Easily sub 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • **You could use any squash variety here or substitute with sweet potato or regular potato.
  • Time saver: buy already cubed butternut squash and pre-sliced mushrooms
  • Note: for a meatier soup, brown some sausage in the pan before cooking the onion. Remove it once browned, then add it back in with the water, etc…

Instructions

  • (Get your pasta cooking if it’s not already cooked!)
  • In a large pot, warm the oil over medium heat. Add the leeks, carrots, celery and ½ teaspoon salt and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, rosemary or sage, fennel seeds, and red pepper flakes (if using) and cook for 30 more seconds, stirring constantly.
  • Add the tomato paste and stir to coat the vegetables and spices. Cook for 2 more minutes, stirring often, to caramelize the tomato paste.
  • Stir in the squash and mushrooms to coat in the tomato paste. Stir in the water, beans, and remaining 1 ½ teaspoons salt. Bring to a boil, give it a stir, then reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes, or until the squash is tender.
  • Remove from heat and stir in the kale until wilted. Taste and add more salt, if needed (I usually add an extra hefty pinch at the end). Add pasta to your bowl and ladle the soup over top. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkled with shredded parmesan (if using) and black pepper.

Items you can prep ahead (optional)

  • Thinly slice 1 leek
  • Peel and chop 1 carrot
  • Slice 2 celery stalks
  • Chop 3 cloves garlic
  • Finely chop 1 tbsp rosemary or sage
  • Prep 2 cups butternut squash
  • Thinly slice 8 oz mushrooms
  • Chop 4 cups kale
  • Cook pasta
  • Make the soup

Substitutions:

  • To make gluten-free, use gluten-free pasta or skip the pasta entirely. You could also add in some cooked rice or other grain.
  • To make vegan, skip the parmesan cheese. You may want to add a bit more salt to the soup.
  • This soup is delicious served with some crusty bread for dunking in place of the pasta (or in addition to).
  • I love this soup with butternut squash, mushrooms, and kale, but you can easily substitute the squash for a different variety or with potatoes. You can substitute any veggie for the mushrooms (2 cups worth). Skip the kale or substitute with any leafy green. Onion can be used instead of leeks.

Storage:

  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 6 days or freeze for up to 2 months.

Leftovers + Repurposing:

  • Warm up leftovers in the microwave or on the stove until warmed through. Add pasta to your bowl and pour the hot soup over top. Top with plenty of parmesan, some black pepper, and a drizzle of good olive oil. Add any fresh herbs that you have and maybe a squeeze of lemon to wake up the soup!

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