Ina Garten’s Winter Minestrone

1 Tbsp. olive oil
4 ounces pancetta, 1/2-in. diced
1 1/2 cups onion, chopped
2 cups carrots, 1/2-in. diced (3 carrots)
2 cups celery, 1/2-in. diced (3 stalks)
2 1/2 cups peeled, seeded butternut squash, cut into 1/2-in. chunks
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme leaves or 1 tsp. dried thyme
28 oz. can diced tomatoes
6 to 8 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 bay leaf
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 15 oz. can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups cooked small pasta
8 oz. fresh baby spinach leaves, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup white wine
2 tablespoons store-bought pesto
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil in a large Dutch oven and add the pancetta.  Cook until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the onions, carrots, celery, squash, garlic and thyme and cook, stirring occasionally,  until the vegetables begin to soften, about 8 to 10 minutes.

Add the tomatoes, 6 cups of the chicken broth, bay leaf, 2 tsp. kosher salt, and 1 tsp. pepper. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes, until the vegetables are tender. Discard the bay leaf.

Add the beans and cooked pasta and heat through. The soup should be quite thick but if it’s too thick, add more chicken stock. Just before serving, add the spinach and cook just until the leaves are wilted. Stir in the white wine and pesto and serve with grated Parmesan cheese.

Serves 8
WW PP per serving: 6