Bill’s Cafe & White Bean and Butternut Squash Soup

Check out this awesome sandwich I recently had at Bill’s:

I made that picture extra large, so you can see all the delicious goodness!  For those of you in Silicon Valley, Bill’s is a GREAT place for breakfast, and also for lunch.  We typically go there on weekends, though we try to resist, because it’s easy to overeat with all of the yummy pancakes and cheesy eggs.  But they do have some healthy options — this is their Light Garden Sandwich, and I substituted cream cheese for goat cheese.

So, top to bottom we have goat cheese, cucumbers, tomatoes, avocado, lettuce, walnuts, and more goat cheese!  Go with the side of fruit like I did, and this is a really healthy meal!  It tastes so good that it only occurred to me after eating half the sandwich (note the crumbs) to take a picture of it for the blog.   I should do this more often!

Last night I had leftover White Bean & Butternut Squash Soup for dinner.  I’ve made this soup twice, and then frozen it for later consumption, and it’s come out really good both times.  The boyfriend doesn’t seem to mind it either, but I think he might prefer something spicier or more tomato-ey  — just a note for those who like hella spiciness, this is definitely on the mild/subtle side of the flavor scale.  Anyway here’s my “recipe.”  I’m thinking I might have added some water at some point, but you can adjust for that when everything’s in the pot.  It should look like a stew.

  • 2 cans white beans, rinsed
  • 3-4 cups butternut squash, in 1/2” cubes (this is a loose number)
  • 2 cups kale or spinach or collard greens
  • 2 cups vegetable stock (or chicken stock)
  • 1-2 T garlic
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • parmesan rind (key ingredient!)
  • shredded parmesan cheese
  • lots of chopped rosemary
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • olive oil
  • 2 bay leaves

In a large pot, sautee garlic and onions in olive oil until translucent. Add squash, vegetable stock, beans, parmesan, and bay leaves.  If the squash isn’t covered by the liquid, add more stock, or some water if you’re out of stock.  Cook for 30-40 minutes on low-med heat, until you can poke a fork easily through the squash.  Fish out the parmesan rind, and the bay leaves, and discard.  Add the kale in small handfuls, and mix in gently to wilt the greens. Cook for an additional 5 minutes or so, until the ribs of the greens are softened.  Serve in bowls, topped with about 1T chopped rosemary, and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese. Or freeze for later, but make sure you don’t add the rosemary/cheese until you’re ready to eat!

I think the parmesan rind is genius.  Wasn’t my idea, but it definitely kicks up the flavor.  The other essential ingredient is the rosemary topping.  In case you were wondering about what NOT to skip.

-Amanda

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