Fall Minestrone

A few days ago when it was chilly and rainy outside and I could smell Fall in the air, I decided that I should welcome the new season with a warming soup.  I settled on minestrone and gathered the ingredients at the grocery store.  Today, I finally had time to chop and simmer…and it was was 83 degrees outside and sunny.  I waited for the apartment to cool off from the afternoon sun and then reheated it with my stove.  Yeah, the timing could have been a little better but I’m not about to complain about the wonderful bowl of soup in front of me.

Since I am going for a “waste not, want not” kind of policy in my kitchen (living on student loans is a great motivator for frugality!) I’m saving the peelings from my butternut squash along with what remains of the leeks to make veggie stock.  I’m also saving the squash seeds to toast once my kitchen cools off.

Fall Minestrone
Makes a big pot of soup

Ingredients:
– 2 Tbs butter or oil
– 3 leeks, white and light green parts thinly sliced then roughly chopped
– 4 garlic cloves, minced
– 1 small butternut squash, peeled and cut into bite-sized chunks
– 1 can (15 oz) italian style tomatoes
– 1 can (15 oz) white beans, drained and rinsed
– 3 large kale leaves, chopped into small pieces
– 4 cups vegetable broth
– 1 rosemary sprig
– salt and pepper, to taste

1. Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat.  Add leeks and garlic and cook until tender, 5 minutes.
2. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and allow to simmer for 20 minutes.
3. Season with salt and pepper.

Note: After I took the photos, I remembered that I had some aged manchego in the refrigerator and shaved some onto the top of my pile of soup.  I strongly believe that fancy cheese should not go to waste.  Parmesan would also be a good choice!

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