Saturday, November 2, 2013

Fall Minestrone

There are many reasons I like soups, hearty soups as you can see from my blog. If hearty enough, they're a complete meal. You can add a slice of crusty bread or just eat it on its own. You can make it ahead and freeze in 1-2 size portions that you can pull out of the freezer when you need it. They're also an easy way to eat a lot of vegetables in one yummy meal...and they taste good.  So when the weather cools down a bit, I pull out my soup pot and make a big batch. 

I've include butternut squash and kale in this Fall version but you can add whatever you like. Some things you could add are small pasta, potatoes, sweet potato, spinach...and on and on. That's the best part about soup, you can add whatever you like. Just start with your protein, then a base of onions, celery, carrots and garlic. Add tomatoes and broth and any additional veggies you like. Cook until the startch/veggies are done. Wala!

Fall Minestrone

2 Tablespoons oil
1 lb chicken sausage
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
2 cups chopped carrot
2 cups chopped celery
2 1.5 cups or 1 butternut squash trimmed and cubed
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
1 (15oz) can cannellini or great northern beans
1 28oz can tomatoes (any kind)
4 cups chicken broth
1 bag or 5-6 cups chopped kale
1/2 cup white wine
2 tablespoons store bought pesto
Pecorino Romano Cheese
Salt and pepper

In a large soup pot, add 2 tablespoons oil. When hot add your sausage and when almost cooked through, add the onion, carrot, celery, squash, garlic and thyme cooking over medium heat for about 8 minutes. Add the canned tomotoes, chicken stock, the bay leaf, 1 tablespoon kosher salt, 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper. Cook for about 20-30 minutes or until the squash is cooked through. 

Remove the bay leaf and add the beans and kale. It will look like to much kale but just stir it around. It will shrink down just like spinach. Then stir in the white wine and pesto. Check for seasoning and add more salt and pepper if needed. Turn it on low if planning to serve right away. Let cool if planning to freeze in individual portions. When ready to serve, spoon into individual soup bowls and add a tablespoon (or more) of Pecorino to each bowl. Serve hot. Serves 8.


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