Hearty Squash Minestrone
This minestrone hits all the marks. It’s brimming with spicy Italian sausage and hearty cannellini beans, overflowing with veggies (carrots, celery, butternut squash and Swiss chard, to be precise), packed with enticing herbs (rosemary, oregano, thyme), rounded out with tomatoes and topped with circle-shaped pasta. We’re pretty sure it will be the healthiest, heartiest minestrone you’ve ever had, with an irresistible SpaghettiOs vibe.
The inspiration for this soup is fresh, seasonal produce and herby fall flavor. Rich, spicy sausage adds protein and umami, and the herbs and aromatics infuse it with an unmistakable autumnal taste. The tomatoes give this soup an acidic pop and a creamy texture, and the round pasta guarantees kids (and nostalgic adults) will come back for seconds.
Our Hearty Squash Minestrone is bursting at the seams with fiber, protein, nutrients, flavor and fun. It will warm you up on chilly nights and be a hit with all the eaters in your house. Make a big batch on Sunday night, and feed the whole family for a week.
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
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 teaspoon 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!