Autumn Vegetable Soup

I was coming down with Mouse Flu when this irresistible recipe popped into my Inbox: Best Ever Autumn Vegetable Soup. We all know about movie soundtracks; if ever there are recipes custom-tailored for moments in time, this soup was made for my cold. Unfortunately, I had to wait a whole week before I was able to get back into the kitchen and MAKE THAT SOUP. I dreamed about it in the interim (no I am not joking), the softness of the squash, the brush of the kale, the fevered waves of hunger and longing growing with each body breaking cough. Fast forward one week. Finally, I am (mostly) well and have at long last made The Soup. It did not disappoint.

But it took far more than simply getting better to bring this dish to fruition. Here in Portland people must 1) LOVE Kale, 2) Have been making buckets of this soup, or 3) Both. How do I know this? Because of all things in the world, KALE has been sold out at every market nearby for the past week. The “Eat More Kale!” movement must be working overtime here in Maine. When I finally got my mitts on some yesterday, I felt like pumping both fists in the air and screaming, “TAKE THAT, SUCKAS!” But that seemed sort of strange. We are, after all, talking about Kale.

Serves 4 (large) or 8 (small).

SODIUM CONTENT: 222 mg per large serving; 111 per small

INGREDIENTS

2 T. olive oil
3 medium carrots, diced
1 large yellow onion, diced
2 medium cloves garlic, minced
2 c. cubed peeled butternut squash (about half a 2-lb. squash)
1/4 t. ground allspice
1/8 t. ground cayenne pepper
4 c. (1 quart) low sodium chicken broth
1 14.5-oz. can no-salt-added diced tomatoes
2 t. dried thyme
2 c. lightly packed, coarsely chopped kale
1 c. no-salt-added canned chickpeas

DIRECTIONS

Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the carrots and onion and cook, stirring, until they begin to soften, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Add the squash, allspice & cayenne and stir to combine. Add the broth, tomatoes with their juice, and thyme. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the kale and chickpeas and cook uncovered until the squash is tender and the kale has wilted, about 10 minutes. Serve immediately. NOTE: This soup can be frozen for up to 2 months, or refrigerated successfully for three days.

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