I recently learned that for my 20 years of speaking, I have been mispronouncing "Minestrone." While sharing with colleagues what I was planning to cook for dinner I was informed that it is not pronounced "Min-estron-ee," but actually "Minestron." Either not a single friend or family member has ever corrected by Italian mispronunciations, or the entire West coast is with me in acknowledging the silent "e." Regardless, I was a bit embarrassed but still wanting to make the soup regardless of the silent or not "e." I have a lovely recipe from Alice Water's The Art of Simple Food cookbook which I adapted slightly and made for my Dad the first night of his visit. I have read a lot about Alice Water's and I have even been to Chez Panisse, but I have never tried cooking one of her recipes. This soup was delicious, seasonal, and healthy and I served it with my blue corn muffins. I had enough leftovers for two extra lunches and a dinner.
Kale and Butternut Squash Minestrone Soup
2 cans Cannellini beans
1/4 cup olive oil
2 1/2 celery stalk, finely chopped
2 1/2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
3 dried bay leaves
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh sage leaves, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped
3 cups water
2 cups stewed tomatoes
1/2 cup sundried tomatoes, chopped
1 large bunch kales, stems removed and roughly chopped
1/2 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 large handful fresh dill, chopped
Fresh ground pepper
1. In a big pot heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add the onions, carrots and celery and cook until tender, about 15 minutes.
2. Add the bay leaves, rosemary, sage and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes more.
3. Add the chopped kale and tomato (add all the liquid too) and cook for another five minutes.
4. Add the 3 cups of water and simmer for 15 minutes.
5. Add the sundried tomatoes and squash and beans and cook until the squash is tender, about 20-25 minutes, add in the fresh dill just before cooked. Serve with freshly grated cheese and enjoy!