Sunday cooking adventures: Winter vegetable minestrone


Minestrone is one of those soups that has tomatoes and whatever vegetables you have that are in season, but usually includes beans and pasta or rice. This recipe contains butternut squash, which I don’t think I’ve ever seen in minestrone so I decided to try it.

There is a fair amount of chopping involved. I read the recipe first and so I chopped the onions, carrots and cut up the butternut squash before I started cooking since it comes together pretty quickly.  I added Italian herb seasoning and two dried bay leaves for more flavor. Finally, I added low sodium vegetable broth to replace some of the water called for in the original recipe.


The hardest part was chopping up the butternut squash. All I can say about that is make sure your knife is sharp. For convenience, you can buy fresh butternut squash already chopped. But if you want to tackle it yourself, check out my earlier post here.

Finally, here is a link to the original recipe in the January issue of Real Simple magazine. I doubled it because I’m sharing some with my father. #Sundaycookingadventures

Winter vegetable minestrone


1 tablespoon olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 14.5-ounce cans diced tomatoes
1 medium butternut squash about (2 to 2-1/2 pounds,) cut into 1-inch pieces
6 medium carrots, chopped
2 15-ounce cans low sodium navy beans, rinsed
1 tablespoon Italian herb seasoning
64 ounces (8 cups) of low sodium vegetable broth
2 3-inch pieces Parmesan rind (optional), plus grated Parmesan for serving*
1 cup small pasta shells
1/2 Savoy cabbage, chopped


Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until soft, 8 to 10 minutes.
Add the tomatoes (and their juices) and simmer until thickened, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the squash, carrots, beans, Italian herb seasoning, low sodium vegetable broth, bay leaves, 4 cups water and Parmesan rind, (if desired), and bring to a boil. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Add the pasta and cabbage. Simmer until the pasta is tender. Remove bay leaves and serve topped with grated Parmesan.

*If you don’t have a Parmesan rind on hand, try stirring in 1/2 cup grated Parmesan just before serving.

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