I know it’s getting towards spring, but it is still cold in parts of the country so I am sharing my new favorite recipe for minestrone soup. It’s not actually cold where I live…it was actually 75 degrees last weekend and in the 80’s this weekend. You still got to have soup though! I made this soup twice in the last few months.
My boyfriend loves minestrone soup so I am always experimenting with new recipes and versions. I, on the other hand, can take it or leave it. I usually enjoy minestrone soup the first time around, but then I am over it by leftover time. I loved this minestrone soup recipe the whole time probably because of the addition of pancetta and pesto. I whipped up my super quick recipe for French bread for the side and it was some happy eating. I happened to have enough leftover pesto in the freezer for both batches I made. It also gave me an excuse to use my new Le Cruiset Dutch Oven I won in a raffle at my work’s sample sale. Woot woot! She’s a beauty, isn’t she?
- 2 tbsp. Olive Oil
- 4 oz. pancetta, diced
- 1½ cup chopped onion
- 2 cups diced carrots
- 2 cups diced celery
- 2½ cups diced peeled butternut squash
- 1½ tbsp. minced garlic
- 2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
- 28 oz. canned diced tomatoes
- 6-8 cups chicken stock
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tbsp. kosher salt
- 1½ tsp. fresh cracked pepper
- 1 15-oz. can of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup uncooked small pasta, like tubetti
- 8-10 oz. fresh baby spinach
- ½ cup dry white wine
- 2 tablespoon store-bought pesto
- Heat olive oil in large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add pancetta to the pan and cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned. Next add in onions, carrots, celery, squash, garlic and thyme, cooking for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally until vegetables are softened.
- Add diced tomatoes, 6 cups of chicken stock, a bay leaf, salt, and pepper into the pot. Bring soup to a boil and then lower the heat to simmer for 30 minutes. Cook pasta in a separate pot according to package directions.
- Throw out the bay leaf. Add in cooked pasta and beats and allow them to heat up in the soup. If the soup gets too thick, add in additional chicken stock. Add spinach to soup and stir until spinach starts to wilt. Stir in white wine and pesto. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve with warm fresh bread. Enjoy!
Source– Adapted from Ina Garten’s Barefoot Contessa Foolproof