This comforting Butternut Squash and White Bean Soup is my favorite amongst all the other soups I’ve shared this year. Be sure to grab this recipe along with some food photography tips for shooting soup.
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Food Photography Tips for Butternut Squash and White Bean Soup
PUT A BOWL IN THE BOWL
This is a little food styling tip that works wonders with soups, pastas and salads. Use a small bowl that will fit inside the larger soup bowl. Be sure you can fully cover it with soup. Then, when you add the garnishes, they won’t sink to the bottom. This technique works great with pastas and salads when you want the noodles or lettuces to appear higher than they want to go.
Get A Good Macro Lens
I am a Nikon shooter and use the 105mm 2.8 for my macro photography. Macro lenses let you get up close to the delicious details of the food. They help you capture those appetizing shots that make people feel like they can reach out and touch the food themselves.
Read More About: My Favorite Lenses for Food Photography
Recipe Notes for Butternut Squash and White Bean Soup
Recipe Tip 1: Preparing the Soup
Start by sautéing the onions and garlic first, and then add the cubed butternut squash, fresh thyme leaves and homemade chicken broth. This is the easy part, because now you can let the smells take over as it simmers and softens the butternut squash.
Recipe Tip 2: Blend for Ultra Smoothness
After about 30 minutes of aroma bliss, the butternut squash was soft enough to blend. I transferred the soup into my Vitamix to get a really creamy and extra smooth texture. Then, I transferred the soup back into the pot and added the white beans and chickpeas and seasoned with salt and pepper.
You could easily stop right here with this soup and it would be delicious, but wanted to take it one step further.
Recipe Tip 3: Pearl Couscous Garnish
I created a unique garnish to give this soup a little extra twist. In a separate pot, I made pearl couscous and blended it with chopped, roasted pistachios and thinly sliced scallions.
The presentation was beautiful and the flavors were oh-so-good. You’ll want to have thirds or fourths, but don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone. 😉
Read More About: My Chicken Tortellini Soup
Butternut Squash and White Bean Soup
For the soup:
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 yellow onion, finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 butternut squash, peeled and cubed
- 5 sprigs of fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
For the couscous garnish:
- 1 cup couscous (flavored or original)
- 1-3/4 cups water
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/4 cup roasted pistachios, roughly chopped
- 2 scallions, finely chopped
For the soup:
- Heat a dutch oven or soup pot over medium-high heat.
- Add olive oil and diced onion and sauté for 2 minutes.
- Stir in minced garlic and mix for another minute being careful not to burn the garlic.
- Add the butternut squash cubes and fresh thyme.
- Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil.
- Turn heat down to medium low and allow to simmer for 30 minutes until the butternut squash is very tender.
- Using a Vitamix or immersion blender, blend the soup until it's smooth.
- Add salt and pepper to taste and turn heat down to low.
- Ladle soup into serving bowls and garnish with couscous.
For the couscous garnish:
- In a separate pot, add 1 tablespoon olive oil, water and couscous.
- Bring to a boil, uncovered.
- Reduce heat to medium and simmer for about 7-8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Stir in the pistachios and scallions (and 1/2 of the spice packet if using flavored couscous) and simmer for another 5 minutes until couscous is tender.
- Let stand covered for 3-4 minutes before serving.
- Stir well and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
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All images ©Regan Baroni 2017.