Autumn minestrone soup has all of my favorite things about a traditional minestrone, with some added fall coziness. Once the weather starts getting chilly, I find myself craving soups like minestrone. Hearty vegetables, salty tomatoey broth, and a little pasta.
This autumn minestrone recipe is one that was inspired by the minestrone that my mom makes, and Ina Garten’s winter minestrone. I use some slightly different ingredients, and add in a parmesan rind while the soup simmers, making the broth a little thicker and fuller.
- 4 oz pancetta, diced
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 medium carrots, diced
- 3 stalks celery, diced
- 2½ c peeled and diced butternut squash
- 5 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves removed and chopped
- 1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
- 8 c chicken stock
- 1 parmesan cheese rind
- 1 bay leaf
- Kosher salt
- black pepper
- 1 15 oz can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 c small pasta, like tiny shells, cooked
- 10 oz fresh baby spinach leaves, or baby kale roughly chopped
- ½ c dry white wine
- 2 T pesto
- crusty bread, for serving
Heat 2 T of extra virgin olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the pancetta, and cook, until lightly browned, about 6 minutes. Stir in the onions, garlic, carrots, celery, squash, and thyme. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables start to lightly brown and soften, about 3-5 min.
Stir in the tomatoes, chicken stock, bay leaf, a pinch of salt, and a pinch of pepper. Bring the soup to a boil, and then lower the heat too low. Add the parmesan rind to the pot. Allow the soup to simmer, uncovered for 30 minutes.
Remove the bay leaf and parmesan rind. Add the beans, pasta, and spinach to the pot. It may seem like the spinach will not fit at first, but as it wilts, it will all work into the soup perfectly. Allow to cook for 1 minute.
Stir in wine and pesto. Taste the soup for seasoning, and add more salt and pepper if needed. Serve hot with crusty bread for dipping and mopping up extra broth.