Desi and I are late sleepers. For a long time we both worked the late shift in newsrooms and it is hard, to this day many years after, for us to fall asleep before midnight. As a result, we have gotten into a late cycle with almost all of what we do, including dinner, which rarely makes it to the table before 9 pm and sometimes close to 10.
Now it’s a well-known fact that eating your dinner pretty close to bedtime is just not a good idea, because your metabolism slows down during sleep. We try to combat this by making the meal a fairly light one, usually a chapati or two with some dal and subzi.
Sometimes, it is just a bowl of steaming soup with chunky, crusty bread.
When I make soup for dinner I like it to be as nutritious and hearty as possible without being too heavy. I love adding beans, because they offer you loads of protein and fiber for a handful of calories.
For the soup I am about to share with you, I went with lima beans which, for some reason, don’t get their share of the spotlight in my legume-loving kitchen as often as they should. These amazing beans are not only super-healthy, but they are gorgeously creamy and delicious to boot. What more can you ask for?
I combined the lima beans with a butternut squash which made a wonderfully healthy addition to the soup.
For the garnish I used finely diced avocado- the creamy blandness of the avocado paired perfectly with the dish, as did its pale green color with the soup’s elegant orange.
The soup was delicious– silky and complex with the flavors of garlic and red chili powder. And it looked gorgeous to boot!
Vegan Silk: Butternut-Lima Bean Soup
1 cup large Lima beans, soaked for about 8 hours and cooked until tender
1 medium red onion
1 medium butternut squash, cut into big chunks and then roasted in the oven at 350 degrees for about 20-30 minutes or until tender. Peel the squash, cut into a smaller dice, and reserve
4 large cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp red chili powder
Salt to taste
1/2 avocado, pitted, peeled and finely diced
1 tbsp canola oil
Heat the canola oil in a saucepan.
Add the onions and saute on medium heat until translucent.
Add the garlic and stir about a minute.
Add the butternut squash and chili powder. Cook for about a couple of minutes, stirring occasionally, so the squash breaks down further.
Add half the cooked beans and salt to taste.
Bring to a boil.
Turn off the heat and, with an immersion blender or in a regular blender, puree the soup until it acquires a rich, creamy texture. (Pureeing half the beans gives the soup its creamy texture while the remaining limas go into the soup whole to contribute a hearty heft)
Return the saucepan to heat, add the remaining lima beans and season with salt if required.
Warm to a simmer, then turn off the heat and ladle the hot soup into bowls.
Garnish with the diced avocado and enjoy with some bread!