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Autumn Minestrone

This recipe is straightforward, delicious, and filling with lots of fall flavor!

Autumn Minestrone

When you have half a box of pasta cramming the cupboard, it’s a good excuse to make a minestrone, a hearty, chunky vegetable soup. This recipe features autumn favorites such as butternut squash, rutabaga, and carrots. Toss in a rind of Parmesan to boost the broth's flavor and texture as the soup cooks. Use any short, small pasta shape you like (macaroni, shells, orzo, etc.). The beans and kale provide some protein, making this a perfect one-dish meal for lunch or dinner.

Equipment: cutting board; chef’s knife; dry and wet measuring cups; measuring spoons; vegetable peeler; can opener; strainer; stockpot; wooden spoon

Autumn Minestrone
Celery root (left), also known as celeriac, and rutabaga (right), a variety of turnip, add flavor, volume, and nutrition to soup.

Ingredients: 3 tablespoons olive oil

3 garlic cloves, finely minced

1 large onion, chopped 1 small butternut squash, peeled and chopped in ½-inch pieces

3 large carrots, peeled and diced 1 small rutabaga, peeled and diced

1 small celery root, peeled and diced 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves

1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano leaves

2 quarts chicken stock or vegetable stock 1, 15-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained

1 bunch of kale leaves, tough stems removed, thinly sliced

1 rind of Parmesan (optional)

1, 15 oz. cannellini beans, rinsed and drained 1 cup raw pasta (macaroni, shells, etc.)

3 tablespoons chopped parsley

grated Parmesan, for serving

kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Heat a large stockpot over medium heat. Add the olive oil and swirl to coat the pan. Then add the garlic, onion, butternut squash, carrots, rutabaga, celery, herbs, and two pinches of kosher salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion softens, about 10 minutes.

2. Add the chicken stock, then stir in the tomatoes and kale. If using the Parmesan rind, add it to the soup. Bring the pot to a boil and then add the pasta. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until all the vegetables are tender when pierced with a knife.

3. Carefully remove the Parmesan rind from the soup and discard.

4. Taste the broth and season with additional kosher salt and lots of freshly ground pepper. Stir in the chopped parsley.

5. Serve the soup with freshly grated Parmesan sprinkled on top of each portion.

ILOC tip: if you have any pesto in the fridge, put a dollop on each portion of minestrone for an extra punch of bright flavor and stunning color!

Makes 8 servings.

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