Winter Minestrone

A friend shared this recipe with me, and I am so glad she did!  It’s originally from the Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten herself, but of course I tweaked it a bit to make it my own.  It feeds a small army and still allows for leftovers.  Next time you’re snowed in… give this hearty and satisfying soup a try! You’ll be glad you did…

Ingredients:  Feeds 6-8 easily

  • olive oil
  • 4 oz diced pancetta
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cups diced carrots (I used the pre-sliced carrot “coins”)
  • 2 cups diced celery (3 ribs)
  • 2 1/2 cups peeled and diced butternut squash (I used store bought and pre-cut)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 tsp red pepper flake
  • 26 oz can of fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 6 cups low sodium chicken stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • kosher salt and pepper
  • 1, 15 oz can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups cooked pasta (something small)
  • 1 bunch Lacinato kale, chopped
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 tbsp prepared pesto
  • grated Parmesan for serving
  1. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-low heat and add pancetta. Brown the meat, stirring occasionally.  Add the onions, carrots, celery and squash.  Add the garlic and thyme.  Cook until the veggies begin to soften, stirring occasionally.  Add the kale and cover the pot to allow kale to wilt a bit.
  2. Add tomatoes, stock, bay leaf, 1 tbsp of kosher salt, 1 tsp fresh pepper and the red pepper flake.  Bring mixture to a boil then reduce heat and simmer on low for 30 minutes, partially covered.
  3. Discard bay leaf, add the beans and the pasta.  Add the wine and the pesto.  Cook a few more minutes uncovered to allow all the flavors to come together.  Soup will be thick.  If too thick, add more stock at this time.
  4. Serve in shallow bowls, top with Parmesan cheese.


This soup will fill you up!!! I served it with garlic bread and it made for a wonderful snow day family supper.  Like I said, the recipe makes a lot of soup!  I was able to feed my family of four and freeze approximately 2 servings for another time.


  • I added the red pepper flake because I like a little heat!
  • You could swap the kale out and replace it with any leafy green like spinach (that’s what the original recipe called for).
  • I also feel like the pasta could be left out if you were looking to lighten things a bit and reduce the number of carbs.
  • Don’t nix the wine!!! I was hesitant at first,  but it added a whole other dimension of flavor to this soup.  It’s a must for sure!

*Recipe adapted from

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