Saturday, December 3, 2011

Soup with Squash and Greens

I adapted this recipe from one for Tuscan-Kale-and-Squash Minestra from Food & Wine December 2011. My theory is you can use whatever hardy greens you have (kale, chard, collards, spinach even) and the hard squash of your choice (Hubbard, butternut, acorn, etc.)

wilting the greens

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 large onions, finely chopped
3-4 pounds of your favorite hard squash for 5 cups peeled and diced into 1/2 inch cubes. - we used butternut, neck only, as the original recipe indicated.
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary (or substitute 1 teaspoon dried)
12 ounces of greens of your choice (by weight) - we used Collards. Original recipe called for kale. If you use that or spinach you might double or even triple as it will shrink more than some other greens.
9 cups chicken stock
salt and pepper
1 cup ditalini or tubettini pasta
1 15-ounce can navy beans, drained

In a large pot, heat 2-4 Tablespoons of olive oil. Add the onion, and cook over moderate heat, stirring until softened. If it's dry, either cover or add a little more oil. Add the squash, stirring until lightly browned in spots but not tender. Stir in garlic and rosemary for a minute then add the greens and stir them in until wilted. Add the broth, cover and simmer just until the vegetables are all tender. Season with salt and pepper.

While the vegetables are cooking, boil the pasta until it's al dente. Drain.

Add the pasta and beans to the soup and simmer until it's slightly thickened. As the greens and pasta absorb liquid, at this point you may need to add a little extra stock.

The original recipe calls for adding 1/4 cup of olive oil to the soup before serving but I left it out as the soup already tasted amazing.

Serve with shaved Parmesan and garlic toasts.

finished product - yum!

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