butternut squash and kale minestrone

Aren’t old friends the best?  This weekend my best friend traveled across the U.S. to visit me in Seattle.  Since she was only here for 2 days, we tried to pack as much Seattle into those days as possible.  We saw the Picasso exhibit at the Seattle Art Museum, went to Pike Place Market (of course!), browsed books at Elliot Bay Book Company, tasted wine at Chateau St. Michelle winery, toured Red Hook brewery (hey, we like our wine and beer!), ate at some great restaurants, and most of all we just enjoyed each others company.  It never felt so good to laugh until my stomach hurt.
After a weekend full of indulging in wine, sushi, pumpkin cookies, fish and chips, beer, bread pudding, and creamy mushroom pasta I was ready for a healthy meal on Sunday night.  Since it had been a rainy weekend I was craving a hearty soup, and decided to make one filled with fall vegetables.  It turned out just as I wanted, and topped with Parmesan cheese and served with crusty bread, it was a perfect fall night soup!
Some notes about the recipe:
-This can be made in the crockpot or on the stove top.  I made it in the crock pot, but have included directions for both ways.
-I think this would be great with some pancetta or bacon added.  I didn’t realize until just now that some minestrone recipes have bacon/pancetta added to them, otherwise I would have definitely done this!  Obviously it won’t be vegetarian if you do this.
-This makes a lot of soup!
Butternut Squash and Kale Minestrone
inspired by epicurious.com
3 celery stalks, finely chopped
2 carrots, finely chopped
1 white onion, finely chopped
2 fresh bay leaves (or 1 dried)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp dried sage
1 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped
2 tsp salt
32 oz vegetable broth
1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes
Parmesan rind (optional)
1 can cannelini beans, drained and rinsed
2 1/2-3 cups butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2 inch cubes (1 small squash)
1 large bunch kale (I used dino kale), rinsed and chopped
1 cup small pasta like macaroni or ditalini, cooked al dente
fresh ground pepper
grated Parmesan cheese
For a crockpot: Combine everything except kale and pasta to large crockpot.  Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.  20 minutes before you plan to eat, add kale and stir.  10 minutes later, add pasta and cook 10 more minutes.  Remove bay leaves and Parmesan rind.
For stovetop: Saute onion, carrots, and celery in 3 tbsp olive oil over medium heat in large pot.  Cook until tender, about 10 minutes.  Add bay leaves, rosemary, sage, garlic, and salt, and cook for 5 more minutes.  Add broth, tomatoes, Parmesan rind, beans, and butternut squash.  Bring to boil and simmer 15 minutes.  Add kale and pasta, and simmer 15 more minutes, or until butternut squash is tender.  Remove bay leaves and Parmesan rind.
Ladle into soup bowls, top with Parmesan cheese and enjoy!

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  1. says

    It was sweet of your friend to come for a visit. Glad you had a fun time. It sounds like you got to see a lot of great places! Your soup looks so fantastic. I just picked up kale and was wondering what to do with it. :)


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