I had been craving a good soup. I had some leftover zucchini and red peppers so I threw them in to this recipe. The soup was very tasty and hearty but I should have cut the squash up smaller (though in all fairness cutting squash is hard).
- 4 ounces pancetta, 1/2 -inch-diced
- 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 pesto (I made mine fresh for a later recipe)
Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat in a large, heavy pot or Dutch oven. Add the pancetta and cook over medium-low heat for6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned. Add the onions, carrots, celery, squash, garlic, and thyme and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes, until the vegetables 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, then lower the heat and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.
Discard the bay leaf. Add the beans and pasta and heat through. the soup should be quite thick but if it’s too thick, add more chicken stock. Just before serving, reheat the soup, add the spinach,and toss with 2 big spoons (like tossing a salad). Cook just until the leaves are wilted. Stir in the white wine and pesto. Depending on the saltiness of the chicken stock, add another teaspoon or two of salt to taste. Serve large shallow bowls of soup.