Fresh ingredients at the Lilla Frederick Middle School. Thanks to Jay Manoli and his entire staff for a great pot of soup!

Boston Public Schools introduced a homemade Southwest Vegetable Soup featuring locally grown butternut squash last Thursday.  The soup, menued as part of the Farm to School Initiative’s Local Lunch Thursday Program, was warmly received by students and staff alike.  One Lilla Frederick School Student declared it “the bomb.”

Lunch looks delicious at Brighton High! Thanks to Annie Yong and her staff for sending this photo.

A hearty blend of squash, black beans, green beans and corn in a spiced tomato broth, the soup is served alongside a whole grain toasted cheese sandwich with milk and fresh fruit. In case you missed it, the Southwest Vegetable Soup will be featured again on the BPS cafeteria menu Thursday March 1st.  Can’t wait until March?  Give the recipe below a whirl in your home kitchen.

BPS Southwest Vegetable Soup

  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 small onion, diced                              
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup peeled and diced butternut squash
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes, fresh or canned                                                    
  • 3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 cup green beans                    
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen corn                                  
  • 2 cups cooked black beans (1 can rinsed and drained)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Optional Toppings:

  • Grated cheddar cheese
  • Crumbled tortilla chips
  • Low-fat sour cream
  • Greek yogurt
  • Diced avocado

Heat a medium soup pot over medium heat.  Add the oil and onion and sauté 1-2 minutes until soft and aromatic.  Add the garlic, stock, tomatoes, chili powder and cumin.  Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until the squash is tender – about 30 minutes.  Add the green beans, corn, and black beans.  Cook an additional 5 to 10 minutes just until everything is heated through.  Season with salt and pepper, top with desired toppings, and serve.