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Spicy soup to warm up last days of winter

Published 9:22am Thursday, March 13, 2014

It’s said that March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb. Thus far, the March lion has been roaring stronger than ever and all of us in the Great Lakes region are ready for him to go to bed for a while.

As I sit here today writing this, hope of that is realized with a sunny sky and mid 40s temps. While we may have a few more cold days ahead, I’m finally feeling like my frozen city really might thaw out.

Winter will actually come to an end, and soon.

In honor of that, I decided to share a recipe for an excellent soup I made last week. It was a blustering 20 degree day, and I really needed an immune-boosting warm-up.

May this be the last of the soup comforts I feel necessary to share with you until next fall!


3 cups cooked or canned navy beans, drained and rinsed
¼ cup fresh dill, cut from the stem
½ cup fresh parsley, coarsely chopped
½ teaspoon white pepper
1 ½ teaspoons Batti Becco or other seasoning salt
Black pepper to taste


2 tablespoons grapeseed or vegetable oil
¾ cup yellow or white onion, chopped
¾ cup white Swiss chard stems, sliced
8 cloves garlic, sliced
1 partially cooked golden squash,
cut into 1 inch pieces
4 ½ cups Swiss chard, sliced into ribbons

1. Start by heating the oil in a large stock pot. Next, add the onion and chard stems. Cook until translucent.
2. Add the garlic and saute until the garlic starts to become tender. Slowly stir in the vegetable stock,
white pepper, black pepper and seasoning salt.
3. Bring the soup to a boil, reduce to a simmer and add the chard, beans, and squash.
Cover and simmer about 15 minutes.
4. Stir in the fresh herbs and adjust seasonings as needed. Simmer another 5-10 minutes.
Turn off heat and let sit about 10 minutes.
5. Puree with a hand blender and serve topped with roasted squash seeds.

Cook’s Notes: To cook the squash, cut in half and scoop out seeds and guts (save seeds for roasting). Place meat side down in a shallow baking dish filled with about an inch and a half of water. Bake in oven at 350 for about 25 minutes, until the skin can be poked with a fork but it’s not really, really soft. Turn squash face side up and allow to cool completely before peeling and slicing.

If you don’t have a hand blender, wait until soup cools and then transfer to a blender or food processor to puree.

Kat Barry, a St. Joseph, Michigan native, is owner of Kat’s Hot Cakes vegan catering, and co author of “The New Chicago Diner Cookbook: Meat Free Recipes from America’s Veggie Diner.” She also develops recipes for, where you can find over 30 of her vegan instructional cooking videos. She is also a certified yoga instructor. Kat currently resides in Chicago, and in her free time she enjoys practicing yoga, sampling local spirits, listening to live music, and getting outdoors. Follow @katshotcakes on twitter. Kat can be reached via email at:

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