FALL MINESTRONE WITH KALE AND BUTTERNUT SQUASH
• 1 cup dried cannellini or borlotti beans (this will yield 2 1/2 to 3 cups of cooked beans), or in a pinch, a large can of cannellini beans, drained
• 1/4 cup olive oil
• 1 large onion, finely chopped
• 2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
• 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
• 1 bunch kale, stemmed, washed, and chopped
• 3 to 4 tomatoes, chopped, or 1 small can tomatoes, drained and chopped
• 4 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
• 1/2 teaspoon chopped rosemary
• 1 teaspoon chopped sage
• 1 bay leaf
• 2 teaspoons salt
• 1 leek, diced
• 1/2 butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch cubes (about 2 cups)
• Parmesan cheese
Cook the dried beans in a manner of your liking and then set aside. Reserve the cooking liquid. Heat olive oil, onion, carrots, and celery in a heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat for 15 minutes, or until tender. Add kale, tomatoes, garlic, rosemary, sage, bay leaf, and salt and cook for 5 minutes longer.
Add 3 cups of water and bring to a boil. When boiling, add diced leek. Cook for 5 minutes longer, then add squash and cook for an additional 10 to 15 minutes. Taste for salt and adjust as necessary.
Add the cooked beans, along with 1 cup of the bean cooking liquid, and cook for 5 minutes longer. If the soup is too thick, add more bean cooking liquid. Remove the bay leaf and serve, garnished with grated Parmesan cheese.