Minestrone is a soup that changes with the seasons. While summer minestrone may have slices of zucchini or chunks of tomato, this fall version is made with root vegetables, green beans and hearty collard greens. Even though the ingredient list calls for specific vegetables, think of them more as suggestions rather than requirements. You can easily throw in some rutabega in place of the potatoes and parsnip instead of carrots. If you are short on time, you can even prepare this soup in the slow cooker so that its ready for you when you get home from work.
Fall Minestrone Soup
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
6 cups chicken stock or vegetable broth
2 1/2 cups cubed peeled butternut squash, approximately 3/4 inch dice
2 1/2 cups peeled and cubed potato, approximately 3/4 inch dice
1 cup chopped green beans, approximately 1 inch pieces
1 cup diced carrot
1/2 cup small pasta like orzo
1 teaspoon dried oregano
4 cups chopped collard greens
1 16-ounce can cannellini beans or other white beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste
In a large Dutch oven or other large pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Saute onions and garlic until them become soft and appear translucent, approximately 2 minutes . Add stock along with butternut squash, potato, green beans, carrot and bring the soup to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer the soup for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add collard greens and beans to the soup pot and continue to cook for 10 minutes or until collard greens are wilted. Add the small pasta and cook for an additional 10 minutes or until the pasta is done and vegetables are tender. Adjust seasoning if needed. Garnish the soup with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese.
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