Shaped like a flattened drum, buttercup squash most closely resembles the local squash used in this comforting hearty soup from northern Brazil. It has a dark green peel, a grayish turban-shaped top and dense orange flesh. Hubbard, butternut or delicata squashes could also be used. Instead of the lip-numbing Brazilian green jambu, we have used spinach. For a more festive look, serve in a roasted squash half (see Tip).
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 6 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 3 pounds buttercup squash, peeled and diced (about 6 cups)
- 1 plum tomato, chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- Two 15-ounce cans pinto or other brown beans, rinsed
- 10 ounces spinach, stemmed and coarsely chopped
- 1 lime, cut into wedges
- Tip: To make squash bowls:
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Slice about an inch off the top of each buttercup squash. Scoop out seeds and loose flesh. Pour 1/2 inch water into a glass baking dish (or two) large enough to hold the squash. Place the squash cut-side down in the water. Bake until the flesh is tender when gently poked with a knife and the squash still holds its shape, about 30 minutes.
Melt the butter in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, carrots and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender and lightly browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the broth and scrape up any browned bits with a wooden spoon. Add the squash, tomato, crushed red pepper, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the squash is very soft and almost breaking apart, about 20 minutes.
Transfer 3 cups of the soup to a blender and puree until smooth. (Use caution when pureeing hot liquids). Return the pureed soup to the pot. Stir in the beans and spinach and cook over medium heat until the beans are heated through and the spinach is wilted, about 5 minutes. Serve with lime wedges.
Recipe reprinted by permission of Publisher. All rights reserved.
nutrition information per serving
223 calories; 3g total fat; 2g total saturated fat; 8mg cholesterol; 310mg sodium; 43g carbohydrates; 10g fiber; 11g protein
These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.
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