Save the broth left from cooking dried pinto beans to make this hearty, easy soup in your slow cooker. Chunks of butternut squash add sweetness and a mix of peppers makes it hot and tart. I put all the ingredients in the slow cooker, turned it on high, went to the Carrboro Music Festival for the afternoon, and came back to dinner! In the picture below, you can see that I just rolled out a little whole-wheat pizza dough and grilled it for a few minutes to make a complete fall meal.
Use this soup to make your life easier now and later. The recipe makes twelve servings, so there was enough left for lunch on Monday and to fill to two quart freezer containers. It's a great way to put up peppers while they are at the lowest price of the year.
Active time: 10 minutes. Total time: 4 to 8 hours. 12 servings. Oil free, gluten free, vegan.
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 2 cups peeled and cubed butternut squash (use the neck and save the bulb to stuff. See my tutorial on peeling butternut squash)
- 4 cups pinto-bean broth from cooking dried pintos
- 2 cored, seeded, and chopped bell peppers
- 2 cored, seeded, and chopped jalapeños
- one 28-ounce can diced Muir Glen organic fire-roasted tomatoes
- salt, vinegar, or lemon juice to brighten flavor after soup has cooked (optional)
- Mince garlic and set aside so the air can activate its cancer-fighting enzymes. Add butternut squash, pinto-bean broth, peppers, and tomatoes. This is a very forgiving recipe, so adjust the proportions to match the produce you have on hand. Add garlic and stir. Cover the slow cooker and cook on low all day or on high for about four hours, until a fork goes easily through the squash.
- Taste soup and add flavor brighteners if needed. Vinegar adds a tang that reminds me of hot-and-sour soup. Lemon makes it more Tuscan.
- Serve hot in bowls or as a sauce over quinoa or rice. Refrigerate any extra for up to four days or freeze for up to a year.
- If you don't have fire-roasted tomatoes, stir in a teaspoon or two of smoked paprika or tahini.
- If you don't like the heat from jalapeños, replace them with another bell pepper.
- Go even thriftier by using peeled and chopped sweet potatoes instead of butternut squash.
If you liked this, try:
- Fat-Free Bean Burgers made with pinto beans
- Stuffed Squash with Pecans, Tomatoes, Raisins, and Rice (using the bulbs of the butternut instead of kaboca squash)