Hearty Squash Minestrone
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 pound ground mild Italian sausage
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 2 celery ribs, diced
- 2 carrots, peeled and diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 - 2 pound butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into ½ inch cubes
- 1 - 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 1 ¼ cups dry, large ring pasta
- 2 cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- ¾ teaspoons dried oregano
- 3 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves finely chopped
- 1 bunch Swiss chard, thinly sliced into ribbons
- Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
- Parmesan cheese, for serving
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a deep soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. In a separate pot, boil the pasta in salted water until just below al dente. Drain the pasta and set aside.
Add the sausage to the Dutch oven, crumble it and season with sea salt and pepper. Cook until browned, then transfer the sausage to a bowl using a slotted spoon and set aside.
Add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil to the pot, then add the onion, celery and carrots, and cook until softened (but not browned). Stir in the garlic and tomato paste; season with sea salt, pepper, thyme, oregano and rosemary.
Stir in the chicken broth, crushed tomatoes, bay leaves, beans and butternut squash. Return the sausage to the pot and bring the soup to a simmer.
Cover the soup and simmer until the butternut squash is cooked through, about 15 to 20 minutes.
Uncover and stir in the Swiss chard, cooking until wilted and tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the pasta. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
Serve the soup topped with shaved Parmesan cheese and additional fresh rosemary. Enjoy!