I forgot to mention that my husband Mark is an awesome stay-at-home Dad. He should probably be the one blogging instead of me. He does a great job with the kids, including taking care of Ben with all of his challenges.
Mark and I usually share the meal-preparation duties, but tonight Mark made us a special treat. He made a half black bean-half butternut squash soup which was delicious! We also made some sauteed chicken breast sandwiches to go with it. Overall a very good dinner to come home to on a cold night.
Black Bean and Butternut Squash Soup (from the Culiary Institute of America’s Book of Soups, a book we highly recommend if you’re a soup fan like Mark is!)
For the butternut squash soup:
1/2 tablespoon butter, 1 diced onion, 1 diced carrot, 1 small diced butternut squash, 1/4 cup honey, 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon , 1/8 tsp ground allspice, salt to taste.
Melt butter in a large pot over med-low heat. Add onion and carrot, cook until onion is tender 4-6 mins. Add squash and enough water to cover by about 3 inches (we added a little less). Simmer uncovered until squash is tender, about 30 mins. Stir in honey, cinnamon and allspice and simmer, 2 mins. Remove from heat and cool 10 mins. Puree soup in blender until smooth, can add water if needed. Pour soup back in pot and bring to simmer over med heat, season with salt. Keep hot until ready to serve.
For the black bean soup:
1 dried chipotle chle, stemmed, 3 cups drained canned black beans, well rinsed, 1 cup water, 1/4 tsp dried oregano, 1/4 tsp chopped epazote (optional; I don’t even know what that is), 1/4 tsp ground cumin, salt to taste. (We also added a tomato and some cilantro).
Grind the chipotle chile into a powder. Puree the chipotle, beans, water, oregano, epazote and cumin in a blender until smooth. Thin with additional water if necessary. Bring soup to a simmer in a medium saucepan over med heat. Season with salt. Reduce heat to low and keep hot until ready to serve.
To serve the soups, simultaneously ladle equal amounts of the 2 soups side by side into a heated soup bowl. (Sounds difficult but it’s actually not once you get the hang of it). Serve immediately.