This incredibly hearty winter soup falls somewhere between a soup and a stew.The texture and flavor are amazing—it’s filled with chunky vegetables, pasta,beans, and spinach. Pesto and Parmesan swirled in at the end make it even better. I serve it in big shallow bowls with garlic bruschetta on top.
Serves 6 to 8
Good olive oil
4 ounces pancetta
1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onions
2 cups (1/2-inch) diced carrots (3 carrots)
2 cups (1/2-inch) diced celery (3 stalks)
2 1/2 cups (1/2-inch) diced peeled butternut squash
1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic (4 cloves)
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
26 ounces canned or boxed chopped tomatoes, such as Pomi
6 to 8 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade (page 62)
1 bay leaf Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups cooked small pasta, such as tubetti (see note)
8 to 10 ounces fresh baby spinach leaves
1/2 cup good dry white wine
2 tablespoons store-bought pesto
Garlic Bruschetta (recipe follows)
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving
To cook the pasta, put 1 cup of pasta into a large pot of boiling salted water. Cook according to the directions on the package, drain, and set aside.
You can make this soup ahead and reheat it before serving. It will need to be reseasoned.
Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat in a large, heavy potor Dutch oven. Add the pancetta and cook over medium-low heat for6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned. Add theonions, carrots, celery, squash, garlic, and thyme and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes, until thevegetables begin to soften.
Add the tomatoes, 6 cups of the chicken stock, the bay leaf, 1 table-spoon salt, and 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper to the pot. Bring to a boil, thenlower the heat and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes, until thevegetables are tender.
Discard the bay leaf. Add the beans and cooked pasta and heat through. the soup should be quite thick but if it’s too thick, add morechicken stock. Just before serving, reheat the soup, add the spinach,and toss with 2 big spoons (like tossing a salad). Cook just until theleaves are wilted. Stir in the white wine and pesto. Depending on thesaltiness of the chicken stock, add another teaspoon or two of saltto taste. Serve large shallow bowls of soup with a bruschetta on top.Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, drizzle with olive oil, and serve hot.
Good olive oil
1 garlic clove, cut in half lengthwise
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Slice the baguette at a 45-degree angle in 1/2 inch-thick slices. Brushboth sides of the bread with olive oil and bake for 6 minutes, untillightly toasted. Take the slices out of the oven and rub the surface of each one with the cut clove of garlic.
Copyright © 2012 Ina Garten.