Friday, October 1, 2010

Fall Minestrone with Kale and Butternut Squash

Fall Minestrone with Kale and Butternut Squash
(Adapted from The Art of Simple Food, by Alice Waters, published in 2007)

1 cup dried cannellini or borlotti beans (this will yield 2½ to 3 cups of cooked beans)
¼ cup olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
1 bunch kale, stemmed, washed, and chopped
3 to 4 tomatoes, chopped, or 1 small can tomatoes, drained and chopped
4 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
½ teaspoon chopped rosemary
1 teaspoon chopped sage
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoons salt
1 leek, diced
½ butternut squash, peeled and cut into ¼-inch cubes (about 2 cups)
Parmesan cheese

Prepare beans and set aside. Reserve the cooking liquid. Heat olive oil, onion, carrots, and celery in a heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat for 15 minutes, or until tender. Add kale, tomatoes, garlic, rosemary, sage, bay leaf, and salt and cook for 5 minutes longer. Add 3 cups of water and bring to a boil. When boiling, add diced leek. Cook for 5 minutes longer, then add squash and cook for an additional 10 to 15 minutes. Taste for salt and adjust as necessary. Add the cooked beans, along with 1 cup of the bean cooking liquid, and cook for 5 minutes longer. If the soup is too thick, add more bean cooking liquid. Remove the bay leaf and serve, garnished with grated Parmesan cheese.

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