Dark Days Soup

by Terri Peña

A soup perfect for the last days of winter when the winter vegetables are about done and the spring vegetables have not yet made an appearance.

Dark Days Soup


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or butter
  • 1 medium onion, diced fine
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 red pepper, diced fine
  • 2 cups (1 10oz bag) frozen orange squash (pumpkin, butternut, etc.)
  • 28oz can diced / pureed tomatoes
  • 2 cups red beans
  • 1 roasted chili (poblanos have more heat than Anaheim*)
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 10 ounces chard / kale, stems removed and leaves cut into ribbons
  • 3 cups chicken or vegetable broth

Cooking Directions

  1. Pour olive oil or butter into a large pot, add onions and red peppers, and saute until onion is just beginning to brown. Throw in the garlic, and cumin and cook until fragrant,less than minute.
  2. Add tomatoes, broth, beans, chili, and soy sauce, cook 10 minutes. Add the chard and cook until wilted, about 10 minutes longer. Serve at once.

*To roast chilies, place on a sheet pan and slide under the broiler. Broil until the skins are charred, turning as needed. Remove from oven, place in bowl,and cover with plastic wrap. Set the bowl aside and when the chilies are cool enough to handle, remove the core and seeds and peel off the blackened skin. Resist your urge to rinse under water, lots of flavor will be lost down the drain. Dice the chili flesh and it is ready to add to the soup.

If roasting the chilies feels like to much work, you can also use canned diced chilies. The canned chilies are very mild and you may want to add some hot sauce or red pepper flakes to bump up the heat.

More recipes:

Asparagus Soup with Parmesan Crisps

Warm Rueben Dip