Kale and Butternut Squash Minestrone

I am loving my Riverdog Farm box. Their produce is so gorgeous and it has been surprisingly fun to have my vegetable selection predetermined by them (or by nature I guess you could say.) Instead of going to the market in search of specific ingredients to meet the needs of a particular recipe, the vegetables themselves take the upper-hand. Riverdog's kale and butternut squash were the seeds of inspiration for this hearty veggie stew.

If you've got the space and the weather, I highly recommend keeping a few pots of herbs around. The sage and rosemary came from our garden and I always pluck a few bay leaves from Tilden Park to dry at home. With your own herb pots, you can snip just enough for whatever you are cooking. You save so much money not buying packaged herbs and you gain a ton of flavor.

adapted from Alice Waters' Art of Simple Food
  • 1 cup dried Cannellini or Borlotti Beans (or 2 1/2 to 3 cups cooked beans)
  • 1/ 4 cup olive oil
  • 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 bay leaf, dried
  • 4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage leaves
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 14 ounce can of stewed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes chopped (an unexpected treat from Riverdog)
  • 1 large bunch kale, stems removed, and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2 inch cubes ( about 2 cups)
  • fresh ground pepper
  • Parmesan, grated

Soak beans overnight in 4 cups water. Drain. Place beans in sauce pan and cover with at least 2 inches of water. Simmer for 2 hours or so. Add more water if the level gets low. Salt and set aside tender beans.

In a dutch oven or stew pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, carrot, and celery. Cook until tender, about 15 minutes.

Add bay, sage, rosemary, garlic and salt. Cook for 5 more minutes.

Add chopped kale and tomato (add all the tomato liquid too) and cook another 5 minutes.

Add 3 cups water, simmer 15 minutes.

Add sun dried tomatoes and squash. Cook until tender about 10-15 minutes. When squash is tender, add the cooked beans. Add salt if necessary.

Serve with freshly grated Parmesan and ground pepper.


  1. After waking up with a cold this morning, I need a huge bowl of this pronto. ;)

  2. Those cold have been really bad lately! I hope the soup is good medicine for you.

  3. Beans, kale and butternut squash. Mmmmm....
    Do you use natural light or a Lowel Ego in your photography? It is beautiful. My Canon just broke so I'm temporarily using my point and shoot. Very sad about this turn of events.

  4. I only use natural light and a wide aperture lens. Of course this is a little limited in these darker months, but I cannot resist the beauty. Hope you can get your camera fixed soon - it's hard to go back to a point a shoot.

  5. I can't get enough of this particular kind of kale. It's a little more tender than the usual curly kale. And it cooks faster. I've been carrying home armloads of it from the farmers markets.

  6. This looks like a great combo of flavors...all favorites!

  7. Carolyn, I love the kale too. And it is so good for you. Have you tried making oven-baked kale chips? They are addictive!

  8. All those gorgeous veg in one place -- I love it. Both kale (lacinato, in particular)and squash are some of our favorites -- and they're plentiful, even during these dark days of winter in Wisconsin.

  9. This is exactly what I live on lately...with this dragging cold I've been having, soups are the only thing I'm making.
    This one looks very colorful and tasty....

  10. All the flavors in this soup sound absolutely delicious and heart-warming! What a perfect dish to make during these chilly winter nights!

  11. This soup just found its way into my regular fall/winter soup rotation. Squash from the garden + kale from my CSA made it extra delicious. Can't wait to make it again.

  12. Kellie, I'm glad you like this soup - thanks for letting me know. I bet your fresh veggies make it so tasty!!!

  13. What a beautiful soup! So comforting. Thank you so much for the inspiration, will definitely be making this soon!

  14. This is so much more than soup! It is such a delightful balance of complete, healthy, delicious comfort food! I usually make a big pot of it and freeze some to enjoy on a stormy evening with some crusty bread and cheese!

    1. Thanks Anonymous, So nice to hear you like the soup. Thank you Alice Waters for the inspiration!

  15. Sounds delicious! Can't wait to try this!

  16. how many servings does this make?

    1. I has been a while since I made this recipe. Alice Waters says "8 servings." But it looks like those servings would be on the small side.

  17. My sis and I just whipped up a batch of your stew/soup and wanted to tell you it's delicious and hits the spot on a December day. We're always on the lookout for a healthy meal and this certainly fits the bill and fills the belly. Certain to become a winter staple, I'm sure. Thanks....

    1. friesinacone, Thanks so much for letting me know. I am always thrilled to hear how recipes work in other people's kitchens. Glad you guys enjoyed it!

  18. Just made the soup and it is FANTASTIC...sure to be shared and enjoyed by family and friends during the holiday season. Many thanks for healthy inspiration!

  19. made this and added 1tsp. hot madras curry powder. The curry really brings all the flavors together!


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