Winter Minestrone

Winter is here and that means I make a lot of soup. I love how soup warms you from the inside out. Warm and welcoming this Winter Minestrone will cure those cold and blustery winter days.

Winter Minestrone Soup in a large dutch oven with a wooden spoon

I made a big pot of this soup over the weekend in my dutch oven. This recipe makes a lot. It filled my dutch oven just about to the top. It’s filled with lots of veggies, pasta, and cannelli beans. I think the best part was the pesto that was mixed in at the end, which was a surprising ingredient to me but one I wouldn’t want to skip!

Squash, celery, onion, carrots cut up for a Winter Minestrone Soup

I look forward to a big bowlful of soup after simmering away on the stove. Lance and I had this soup 3 nights in a row, and I’m not even embarrassed about that. I actually love making soup, as I know it will last throughout the week. Soup is so affordable and can really stretch to feed a crowd or to feed a couple of people with leftovers for a few nights. The soup will taste even more flavorful as it sits overnight.

Comfort foods are what I crave during winter, and this soup with a side of fresh bread will not disappoint. I hope this soup makes your cold winter days a little warmer!Winter Minestrone Soup in a dutch oven and a wooden soup inserted into the soup

Yield: 6-8 Servings

Ingredients

Good olive oil
4 ounces pancetta, 1/2 inch diced*
1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onions
2 cups (1/2 inch) diced carrots (3 carrots)
2 cups (1/2 inch) diced celery (3 stalks)
2 1/2 cups (1/2 inch) diced peeled butternut squash
1 1/2 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, preferably homemade
1 bay leaf
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 (15 ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups cooked small pasta, such as tubetti
8 to 10 ounces fresh baby spinach leaves
1/2 cup good dry white wine
2 tablespoons store-bought pesto

Instructions

Dice onions, carrots, celery, butternut squash, garlic, thyme and bacon. (*I used bacon since I had that on hand instead of pancetta.) Heat dutch oven or large pot over medium heat. Add diced bacon, cook about 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally until crisp. Add onions, carrots, celery, butternut squash, garlic and thyme. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 8-10 minutes. The vegetables will begin to soften.

Add tomatoes, 6 cups of the chicken stock, bay leaf, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper to the pot. Bring to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes until the vegetables are tender. While soup simmers, I cooked the pasta to al dente and drained. Add pasta and cannellini beans and heat through.

Just before serving add in spinach and cook until wilted. Stir in white wine and pesto sauce. Serve hot with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese on top.

Notes:

  • I scrub my carrots under cold water instead of peeling them.
  • I used celery hearts and needed about 7 celery hearts to make 2 cups.
  • I didn’t have the cannellini beans on hand, so they didn’t make it into the soup, but I will definitely add them next time.
  • The soup may thicken when pasta is added. You can add more chicken stock. There was plenty of broth in my soup, so I didn’t need to add more chicken stock.

Recipe Source:
https://barefootcontessa.com/recipes/winter-minestrone-garlic-bruschetta

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