Recipe: Butternut Squash Minestrone
One of our favorite events every summer is The Sylvia Center’s Farm-to-Table dinner, hosted by Great Performances in the fields of Katchkie Farm in Kinderhook, N.Y. The mission of The Sylvia Center is to inspire young people and their families to eat well through hands-on learning experiences on the farm and in the kitchen. Madeleine Fischer, program coordinator at The Sylvia Center, offers us recipes the teenagers are learning to make.
This fresh yet hearty take on the classic Italian minestrone is tough to beat when looking for a recipe that simultaneously reminds us of summer days gone by and welcomes the change that fall has to offer. And its versatility allows us to use whatever is in season. This worked out well for us during the mysterious and unpredictable warm and cold days with students from Ichabod Crane.
Minestrone is an ideal soup in which to play around with spice and vegetable combinations. For our recipe, the bounty of butternut squash, waiting patiently to be featured, was a necessary addition. When simmered in the minestrone broth, it took on a whole new persona that is melt-in-your-mouth goodness. Trustworthy kale, by our side all season, was our green of choice. Cabbage, Swiss chard, or any hearty green can be substituted. As our own twist, we used the last of our cherry tomatoes in lieu of canned. Macaroni is conveniently cooked in the broth and cannellini beans round out the soup, making it a complete meal. Topped off with oregano and Parmesan cheese, a familiar and beloved combination, all parties left content.
Butternut Squash Minestrone
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 cups butternut squash, cut into ½- inch cubes
2 quarts chicken stock
1 cup dried macaroni
1 15 oz. can chopped tomatoes
1 15 oz. can cannellini beans
1 bunch kale, chopped
1 T fresh oregano, minced
Freshly grated Parmesan
1. Heat oil in large saucepan. Add onions, sauté 2-3 minutes. Add garlic, sauté until fragrant. Add butternut squash, sauté for another 2 minutes.
2. Add chicken stock and bring to a boil. Add macaroni and reduce heat to simmer, cook 7-8 minutes, add tomatoes. Simmer for another 2-3 minutes. Add beans.
3. Add Swiss chard and oregano. Stir in until it wilts. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Top with Parmesan.