Winter Minestrone

by Meg on March 5, 2013

 

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Last night, I made Ina Garten’s winter minestrone for dinner. Two friends had separately told me about this recipe recently and how great it is- even the first, second and third night. I knew I had to try it!

From the beginning this soup filled the house with an unbelievably amazing smell- Dave came running down from putting together our dresser to see when it was going to be done!

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Winter Minestrone(adapted from Barefoot Contessa: Foolproof Recipes You Can Trust)

  • 4 ounces pancetta, ½-inch-diced
  • 1½ cups chopped yellow onions
  • 2 cups (½-inch) diced carrots (3 carrots)
  • 2 cups (½-inch) diced celery (3 stalks)
  • 2½ cups (½-inch) diced peeled butternut squash
  • 1½ tablespoons minced garlic (4 cloves)
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 26 ounces canned or boxed chopped tomatoes, such as Pomi
  • 6 to 8 cups chicken stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups cooked gluten free small pasta( I used quinoa pasta)
  • 8 to 10 ounces fresh baby spinach leaves( I used 1 1/2 cups of kale)
  • ½ cup good dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons store-bought pesto

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat in a large, heavy pot or Dutch oven. Add
the pancetta and cook over medium-low heat for 6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned.
Add the onions, carrots, celery, squash, garlic, and thyme and cook over medium heat, stirring
occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes, until the vegetables begin to soften.

Add the tomatoes, 6 cups of the chicken stock, bay leaf, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon of pepper to the
pot. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes, until the vegetables are
tender.

Discard the bay leaf. Add the beans and cooked pasta and heat through. The soup should be quite thick but
if it’s too thick, add more chicken stock. Just before serving, reheat the soup, add spinach, and toss with 2
big spoons (like tossing a salad). Cook just until the leaves are wilted. Stir in the white wine and pesto.
Serve with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese, drizzle with olive oil, and and piping hot. (Serves 6-8).

Note: To cook the pasta, put 1 cup of pasta into a large pot of boiling salted water. Cook according to the
directions on the package, drain, and set aside. You can make this soup ahead and reheat it before serving.

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I can’t wait to have this all week for lunch!

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