Soup of the Week:Fall Minestrone

In honor of the beginning of November, I will begin a new cold weather feature here… The soup of the week! I have one child who boycotts soup altogether, but I’m still trying, and this one gets a few bites if I promise desert (an interesting parental debate to be discussed later, I’m sure).
This is Alice Waters’ Fall Minestrone, and the flavors in the soup are pretty mindblowing. The trick is to cook the soffrito until it is really golden, and then some sort of magic happens.
Here goes…

Fall Minestrone from The Art of Simple Cooking

makes 8 servings (or double and freeze!)

1 cup of dry cannellini or other white beans, soaked overnight
1/4 cup olive oil plus more for garnish
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, peeled and coarsely chopped
1/2 teaspoon chopped rosemary
2 ribs celery, finely chopped
1 teaspoon chopped sage
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoons salt
3 cups water
1 leek, diced
1 small can of tomatoes
1 bunch of kale, washed, stemmed, and chopped
1/2 butternut squash, peeled and cubed
grated parmesan cheese for garnish

Cover the beans with water and cook for 2-3 hours at a low simmer until soft. You can also substitute 3 cups canned beans if time insists. Reserve bean cooking liquid.

Heat in a heavy bottomed pan over low heat:
olive oil, carrots, onion

Cook for 15 minutes or until tender

garlic, rosemary, sage, salt, bay leaf, tomatoes, kale

Cook for 5 minutes

Add 3 cups of water, and bring to a boil

When boiling, add the leeks and squash
Cook for 15 minutes, or until the squash is tender, then add cooked beans

Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with olive oil and Parmesan. I promise that all of the chopping is more than worth it!

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