Minestrone with Winter Squash
- Yield: 6 servings
- 1 medium butternut squash
- 2tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
- 1 large or 2 medium carrots, peeled and diced (1/2-inch dice or smaller if desired)
- 1 celery stalk, diced (1/2-inch pieces or smaller if desired)
- 2tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 2 leeks, white and light green parts only, halved, cleaned well, and sliced thin
- 3 to 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 (14- or 28-ounce) can chopped tomatoes, with juice
- 1/2teaspoon dried thyme or 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
- 2 turnips peeled and diced or spiralized on the coarse blade and cut into smaller pieces
- Bouquet garni made with a Parmesan rind, a bay leaf, and a couple sprigs each of parsley and thyme (omit Parmesan rind for a vegan soup)
- 1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans or chickpeas, drained and rinsed well
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Freshly grated Parmesan
- Cut the straight neck of the squash away from the round bulbous part. Peel both parts using a Y-shape vegetable peeler. Cut the bottom bulbous section in half lengthwise, and scrape out the seeds and membranes; dice and set aside. Spiralize the long section using the chipper (coarse shredder) blade. Take up handfuls of the spiralized squash and cut into 3- or 4-inch lengths with scissors.
- Heat the olive oil over medium-low heat in a large, heavy soup pot or Dutch oven, and add the onion, carrots, celery, and parsley. Cook, stirring, until beginning to soften, about 3 minutes, and add a pinch of salt. Continue to cook, stirring often, a few more minutes until just about tender. Add the leeks and cook, stirring, until they begin to soften, about 3 minutes.
- Add the garlic and stir together until fragrant, 30 seconds to a minute, and stir in the tomatoes and thyme. Cook, stirring, until the tomatoes have cooked down and smell fragrant, about 10 minutes.
- Stir in 2 quarts water, the turnips, the diced winter squash, and the bouquet garni, and bring to a simmer. Add salt to taste (about 2 teaspoons), reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer 45 minutes. Stir in the beans. Taste and adjust salt. Remove the bouquet garni.
- Add the spiralized winter squash to the soup and simmer another 5 to 10 minutes, until the squash strands are just cooked through. Grind in some pepper, and taste and adjust seasonings. The broth should be savory and rich-tasting. Serve with freshly grated Parmesan. Keeps for 3 or 4 days in the refrigerator
Text excerpted from SPIRALIZE THIS! © 2016 by Martha Rose Shulman. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.