I should really come up with a shorter name for this one, but nothing really does it justice. It’s essentially my pasta-less take on a minestrone.
Back in August when that super cute I-could-squeeze-those-cheeks-for-days nephew of ours was born, we offered to make some freezable meals for my sister and brother-in-law. Any one who’s been on the receiving end of that offer is often met with lasagna or a casserole. And not saying those are awesome and equally appreciated, but there’s only so much of that you can take!
We brainstormed and figured instead of making one ginormous dish that they’d eat about 1/3 of before the rest went bad, we’d make a couple of smaller portions of some other things. One of which was this soup which turned out to be a big hit. So last week, when we were coming up with what to make for our next door neighbors who just had a baby, we decided to make it again. It’s easy, simple, super healthy, and…. well let’s just share it with you shall we?
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 3 stalks celery, chopped
- chicken stock
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 small butternut squash, peeled and chopped
- 3-4 slices of thick cut bacon, chopped
- 2 cans of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- Kale, 3-4 leaves, washed, de-stemed, and broken into salad-size mouth-manageable pieces
- 3 tbsp olive oil or just use the bacon fat because bacon people
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 c. white wine, optional (not recommended if cooking for someone who is pregnant or nursing since alcohol doesn’t cook off as much as people think)
- Heat bacon pieces over low-medium heat in a large stock pot until desired crunchiness. Pour off the fat or… use to cook the veggies in Step 2.
- Add the onions, celery, and squash and saute until onions are translucent and the squash is starting to soften.
- Add the garlic and continue to cook just for another minute. I do this at the end of the saute time since garlic burns so quickly.
- If you’re adding wine, now’s the time to add that and let that cook down a minute.
- Add broth, and turn up heat to bring to boil.
- Once boiling, lower heat, cover and simmer for 10 – 15 minutes.
- Add kale and beans. Cover for 1 minute to wilt. Then stir down into the soup and continue to simmer covered for about 5 minutes.
- Salt and pepper to taste.