The Beans:1 c. navy or cannelloni beans, soaked* 3 lg. garlic cloves, smashed 1 onion, peeled, halved, & studded with 2 cloves Aromatics: 1 bay leaf, several sage leaves, a thyme sprig, 4 parsley branches 1 Tbsp. olive oil sea salt and freshly ground pepper
The Vegetables: 2-4 Tbsp. olive oil 1 lb. or so butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed, & flesh diced 1 large onion, diced 3-4 sm. turnips or radishes (about ¾ lb.), thickly peeled & cut into chunks 1 Tbsp. chopped sage 2 Tbsp. chopped parsley 1 plump garlic clove, chopped Aromatics: ½ tsp. dried oregano, pinch of dried thyme, 2 bay leaves ½ lb. cabbage or other green, chopped
To Finish: 1 ½ c. fresh bread crumbs 2 Tbsp. olive oil 3 Tbsp. finely chopped sage 1 garlic clove, minced
Drain & rinse beans. .Put in a pot with 2 qts. water, the garlic, onion, aromatics, & 1 Tbsp olive oil. Bring to a boil. Lower heat & simmer, partially covered, for 1 hr. Add 1 tsp salt. Continue cooking until beans are tender, a 1/2 hr. or so. Drain beans, leaving them in just enough liquid to not dry out. Strain & reserve the cooking water (should have 6-7 c.). Warm oil in a soup pot. Add squash, onion, turnips, sage, parsley, garlic, aromatics, & 1 tsp salt. Give a stir, then cook over med. heat, stirring occasionally, until veggies have started to brown & carmelize, about 15 min. Add cabbage & let wilt. Add bean broth or equiv. amt. of veggie stock. Bring to a boil, then lower heat & simmer, partially covered, until squash is tender but intact, 15-20 min. Add beans. Continue cooking until heated through. Taste for salt; season with pepper. Toss bread crumbs with 2 Tbsp. oil & sage to moisten them, then put in skillet. Cook slowly over med. heat until crisp & golden, about 10 min. Add garlic during the last few mins. so it doesn’t burn. Season with salt & pepper. Serve soup with a garnish of hot crumbs.
*If you haven’t soaked your beans ahead of time, cook them in a pressure cooker with the rest of the “beans” ingredients until the beans are cooked. Make sure you add enough water!
From Vegetable Soups from Deborah Madison’s Kitchen by Deborah Madison