Butternut Squash and White Bean Soup with Sage Pesto
Why This Recipe Works
Instead of the usual creamy, rich pureed style of butternut squash soup, we wanted a heartier version that could stand on its own as a meal. We opted to feature chunks of squash paired with creamy cannellini beans to give our soup some heft. Because the bulb portion of the squash is difficult to cut into cubes that will cook evenly, and because it naturally cooks faster than the dense neck portion, we cut the bulb into wedges, cooked them in the broth until they were soft, and then mashed them to make a “squash stock” that gave our soup base body and flavor. We then cooked the neck portion, cut into chunks, in this stock. Adding butter to the stock at the start of its simmering time allowed it to fully emulsify, giving the soup base richness and a more velvety texture. A swirl of sage pesto, which we quickly made in the food processor, lent the right bright, fresh finish.