Meg Makes: Hearty soup a lifesaver for this new mom

Meg Makes: Hearty soup a lifesaver for this new mom

December was busy for our family — my husband and I welcomed our first child, daughter Sylvia, early in the month.

We've been grateful for family and friends stopping by with food, and I'll be hounding some of those people soon for recipes.

My mom cooked up this soup for us the week we came home from the hospital. She made it in our pressure cooker, but it's originally meant for the stove. If you don't have time for it to simmer there, you can also use well-rinsed canned beans for a quicker turnaround time.


1 pound dried navy beans, rinsed

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 pound smoked sausage, sliced into medallions

1 cup chopped onions

1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic

2 bay leaves

8 cups chicken broth

3 cups water

1 cup cooked butternut squash

2 teaspoons salt

1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

Soak beans overnight in cold water. Drain and rinse well.

In a large stock pot, heat olive oil over medium-high. Add sausage and brown for five to six minutes. Turn down heat and add onions. Cook for two to three minutes, stirring occasionally, then stir in garlic. Cook for another minute.

Stir in beans and bay leaves. Add broth, water, squash, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to simmer and cook, partially covered, for two-and-a-half to three hours, stirring occasionally.

Because of beans, cooking time may vary. You'll know it's done when they're tender and falling apart.

Using a potato masher or flat side of a spoon, gently mash beans against bottom and sides of stock pot, leaving some whole and some mashed. Continue to simmer soup for 30 minutes, uncovered, or until desired consistency.

Alternatively, stir all ingredients in a pressure cooker and cook on high for 45 minutes.

Meg Dickinson is a local communications professional who spends many of her waking hours daydreaming about food. To submit a recipe for her consideration, email her at

Sections (1):Living
Topics (2):Food, People