Butternut Squash & Kale Minestrone

Soups are one of my most made foods during the winter months.  They’re just so nourishing, warm, and healthy – not to mention easy!  Minestrone is a classic Italian soup, that is made with a bunch of different vegetables & pasta.  It has such a nice flavor from the tomatoes & herbs, and pairing it with sweet butternut squash & crunchy kale, just adds an extra winter flare to this traditional soup.

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Let’s start out with the basics.  Minestrone always has a classic mirepox (carrot, onion, celery) as its base.  Since this is an Italian soup, I chose to add garlic as well, but you can omit it if you’d like.  Dice your yellow onion, carrots, and celery (with the celery leaves), into fine pieces, and mince your garlic.  Start by adding some olive oil to your pot, and cook your onions alone for about 5 minutes, until soft.  Once they’ve become a bit translucent, you can add your carrot, garlic, and celery.  Cook over medium heat for another 4-5 minutes until everything has softened.

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Once your mirepox has softened, you’ll want to add your tomato paste, italian seasoning, salt, pepper, crushed red pepper, and bay leaves to the pot.  Stir to combine, and allow to cook for about 2 minutes until fragrant. Then you can add your cubes butternut squash, diced tomatoes & their juices, and your vegetable stock.  Bring this mixture to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover.  You’ll want to cook this for about 5-10 minutes, or until the squash is beginning to cook through.  This will all depend on how small you cut your squash.  You don’t want them to fully cook, because they will continue to cook while the pasta cooks.

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After your butternut squash is starting to cook through, you can add your beans & pasta to the soup, bring back to a low boil, and cover for about 10-15 minutes, or until the pasta has cooked through.

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After your pasta has cooked, you’ll want to de stem & rip apart your kale, and chop your fresh parsley and basil.  Turn the heat off on your soup pot, add in all your greens, as well as the remaining 2 tbs of olive oil, and stir to combine.  Cover with the lid again for about 4-5 minutes, until the kale has wilted down.  You still want the kale to be nice and green and have a slight crunch in the finished soup.  Serve with breadsticks or toast, and you’re ready to enjoy a nice nutritious, and warming meal!

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INGREDIENTS

  • 4 tbs olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 1 celery stalk, diced
  • 2 cups cubed butternut squash
  • 2 tbs tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 tbs pink Himalayan salt
  • 2 tbs black pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tbs Italian seasoning
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 6 cups veggie broth
  • 1 15 oz can cannellini beans
  • 1 15 oz can kidney beans
  • 1 cup cooked gluten free shell pasta
  • 1 head of kale, de stemmed and chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/4 cup chopped basil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

DIRECTIONS

  1. Add 2 tbs of olive oil to a pot, then add in your onion and cook about 5 minutes. Then add carrots, celery, and garlic, and cook another 5 or so minutes.
  2. Add in the tomato paste & spices, stir and cook until fragrant.
  3. Add in tomatoes with juice, and veggie broth.  Add in your butternut squash, and cook for about 5-10 minutes until it has slightly softened (but not cooked through).
  4. Add in your beans and pasta. Allow to cook until your pasta is cooked through.
  5. Add in your kale, parsley, and basil, with the remaining olive oil, cover, and turn off the heat and allow to sit for about 10 minutes until the kale is wilted.
  6. Serve & enjoy!

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