Tuscan-Kale-and-Squash Minestra

Minestra is a light, brothy Italian soup with vegetables. "In this version, I saute Tuscan kale and butternut squash with onion, garlic and rosemary, then simmer them in chicken stock with pasta and white beans," Grace Parisi says.


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  • Total Time:
  • Servings: Makes 2 quarts
KEY: Fast - Column, Italian, Soups & Stews, Fast, Healthy, Make Ahead, Staff Favorites, Dinner

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  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • One 2-pound butternut squash, neck only, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (2 1/2 cups)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped rosemary
  • 1 pound Tuscan kale, stemmed and leaves coarsely chopped
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup ditalini or tubettini pasta
  • 1 cup drained canned navy beans
  • Shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and garlic toasts, for serving

How to make this recipe

  1. In a large pot, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add the onion, cover and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until softened, 4 minutes. Add the squash, cover and cook, stirring, until lightly browned in spots but not tender, 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and rosemary and cook until fragrant, 1 minute. Add the kale and cook, stirring, until wilted, 5 minutes. Add the stock, cover and simmer until the kale and squash are just tender, 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Meanwhile, bring a medium saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain the pasta.
  3. Add the pasta and navy beans to the soup and simmer until the soup is slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Ladle the soup into deep bowls and garnish with shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Serve with garlic toasts.

Make Ahead

The kale-squash soup can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

Suggested Pairing

Creamy, spicy Pinot Blanc from Oregon.

Contributed By Photo © David Malosh Published December 2011

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