Minestrone with Winter Squash

Minestrone with Winter Squash
Martha Rose Shulman © 2016
  • Yield: 6 servings


1 medium butternut squash
2tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
1 large or 2 medium carrots, peeled and diced (1/2-inch dice or smaller if desired)
1 celery stalk, diced (1/2-inch pieces or smaller if desired)
2tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 leeks, white and light green parts only, halved, cleaned well, and sliced thin
3 to 4 garlic cloves, minced
1 (14- or 28-ounce) can chopped tomatoes, with juice
1/2teaspoon dried thyme or 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
2 turnips peeled and diced or spiralized on the coarse blade and cut into smaller pieces
Bouquet garni made with a Parmesan rind, a bay leaf, and a couple sprigs each of parsley and thyme (omit Parmesan rind for a vegan soup)
1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans or chickpeas, drained and rinsed well
Freshly ground black pepper
Freshly grated Parmesan


  1. Cut the straight neck of the squash away from the round bulbous part. Peel both parts using a Y-shape vegetable peeler. Cut the bottom bulbous section in half lengthwise, and scrape out the seeds and membranes; dice and set aside. Spiralize the long section using the chipper (coarse shredder) blade. Take up handfuls of the spiralized squash and cut into 3- or 4-inch lengths with scissors.
  2. Heat the olive oil over medium-low heat in a large, heavy soup pot or Dutch oven, and add the onion, carrots, celery, and parsley. Cook, stirring, until beginning to soften, about 3 minutes, and add a pinch of salt. Continue to cook, stirring often, a few more minutes until just about tender. Add the leeks and cook, stirring, until they begin to soften, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic and stir together until fragrant, 30 seconds to a minute, and stir in the tomatoes and thyme. Cook, stirring, until the tomatoes have cooked down and smell fragrant, about 10 minutes.
  4. Stir in 2 quarts water, the turnips, the diced winter squash, and the bouquet garni, and bring to a simmer. Add salt to taste (about 2 teaspoons), reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer 45 minutes. Stir in the beans. Taste and adjust salt. Remove the bouquet garni.
  5. Add the spiralized winter squash to the soup and simmer another 5 to 10 minutes, until the squash strands are just cooked through. Grind in some pepper, and taste and adjust seasonings. The broth should be savory and rich-tasting. Serve with freshly grated Parmesan. Keeps for 3 or 4 days in the refrigerator

Text excerpted from SPIRALIZE THIS! © 2016 by Martha Rose Shulman. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.