March is the time of year when it seems that Winter should be over, or almost over anyway.  But, here in the North East, this month is very hard to predict….then again, this whole season has been that way so far!  It has been unnaturally warm the past couple of weeks, and it appears this weekend will be unusually cold…sooo, a great time for STEW!  I am not talking about a heavy stew with lots of meat and potatoes.  The stew I want to make is light and comforting, using vegetables associated with the season, beans and quinoa to make it a complete meal.  Delicious with a crusty loaf of bread and Green Salad, or just on its own with a glass of your favorite wine!

Butternut Squash, Kale and White Bean Soup w/ Quinoa and Sage

2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Medium Onion, diced
1 Medium Butternut Squash, peeled, seeded and medium diced
2 Cloves Garlic, minced
2 Cups Cannelloni Beans (or other white bean), either canned or 1 cup dry soaked and cooked
1-2 cup Vegetable Stock or water
1 Bunch Kale, stems removed and roughly chopped
1 Teaspoon Sea Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
1 Cup Cooked Quinoa
1-2 Tablespoons Chopped Fresh Sage
Heat olive oil over medium-high heat until just sizzles.  Add onions and sauté until translucent.  Add Squash, Garlic, beans, 1 cup stock, Salt and Pepper.  Bring to a simmer and cook until Squash is just al dante (still firm, but cooked through) Add the Kale and continue to cook until bright green.  Add the quinoa, sage, additional stock or water if dry and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Stir together and continue to simmer until squash is barely soft through, about 5 -10 minutes longer.
*to cook Quinoa, combine 1/2 cup quinoa and 3/4 cup water in small sauce pan with a pinch of salt.  Bring to a boil, lower heat to simmer and cover for about 15 minutes.  When water has absorbed, fluff with fork.  This should give you about 1-1 1/2 cups of Quinoa.