Damn Good Soup

There are few things I love more during cold winter months than a bowl of hearty and healthy soup.  The best part of this particular soup is that it's loaded with a ton of veggies, is perfectly filling and will last you all week!

I picked up all my ingredients at Trader Joe's and total time from prep to cooking is about 2 hours.  I like making this on a weekend so I can tend to it and then have it on hand for the upcoming week.  I use vegetable broth but if you eat meat you can use chicken broth instead. 

Ingredients:

- Olive oil

- One container of Mirepoix Mix (details here on mix)

- Additional 1/2 cup of chopped yellow onion

- 1 LARGE bag of pre-cut butternut squash

- 1 1/2 TB spoon of garlic (4 crushed cloves)

- 2 teaspoons of freshly chopped thyme leaves

- 1 (26 oz) can of diced tomatoes

- 6-8 cups of vegetable broth

- 1 bay leaf

- Pink sea salt and crushed pepper

- 1 (15 oz) can of cannellini beans 

- 2 cups of cooked small pasta (I personally like the Trader Joe's Organic Vegetable Radiatore Pasta

- 3-4 large handfuls of fresh baby spinach leaves

- 1/2 cup of dry white wine

- 1/2 jar of pre-made pesto basil pesto (I use this one at Trader Joe's)

 - Fresh parmesan cheese, to top soup after serving

- Fresh bread for dipping 

1. Heat two TB spoons of olive oil in the bottom of a LARGE pot. Add the onion, Mirepoix mix and garlic.  Cook over medium heat for 4-5 minutes.  While that is cooking I like to cut the pre-cut butternut squash into halves. I find the size in the pre-cut bag a bit too big for eating in a soup.  Add the squash and cook additional 8-10 minutes until all ingredients begin to soften. 

2. Drain and add the can of diced tomatoes, 6-8 cups of vegetable broth, the bay leaf, 1 TB spoon of salt and 1/2 TB spoon of pepper. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 30-40 minutes.

3. Discard the bay leaf. Add pre-drained and rinsed beans and spinach.  Slowly begin to stir in the wine and pesto. While this simmers begin to cook your pasta in a separate pot. Drain and store pasta in a separate container.  If the soup mix looks too thick you can add a bit more broth.  Let this mixture simmer on low heat for about an hour, stirring and tasting regularly.  You may decide to add more salt, pepper or pesto. 

4.  Serving: I like to add some pasta to the bottom of a bowl and pour the soup over, garnish with parmesan cheese and warm bread on the side. 

Storage and reheating tip!  I store the soup and pasta in separate containers.  This will help the soup from thickening up and the pasta from getting mushy.  You can also opt out of the pasta all together.  Some days I like it added in and others I don't.  I always add a bit of broth when I reheat since it will thicken up in the fridge. This lasts me 5-6 days after making and freezes well!

Enjoy!

 

Adapted from Ruhlman Chef's Blog