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Author Notes: Steaming bowls of really good vegetable soup are one of life’s simple pleasures. We’ve taken traditional minestrone and given it an irresistible wintery twist by adding chopped kale and butternut squash. —Simple Green Smoothies
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 3 carrots, peeled and sliced
- 2 celery stalks, sliced
- 1 15-ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed (1 1/2 cups)
- 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice, do not drain
- 2 cups butternut squash, diced
- 1 quart vegetable broth, plus more if needed
- 2 teaspoons dried Italian herbs
- 4 cups chopped kale
- Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and saute for 3-5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 30-60 seconds.
- Transfer to a slow cooker along with the carrots, celery, beans, diced tomatoes and their juice, butternut squash, vegetable broth, and dried Italian herbs. Cook on LOW for 8-10 hours or HIGH for 4-5 hours.
- Stir in the leafy greens and ¼ cup of the pesto. The residual heat will cook the greens without turning them mushy. If the soup is too thick, add more broth.
- 3/4 cup Basil Pesto
- 4 ciabatta rolls
- 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
- Prepare toasts. Preheat oven broiler to low. Spread 1 Tbsp each on the top of each roll half. Top with the cheese. Place on a baking sheet. Broil until warm and bubbly, about 3 minutes. Serve immediately with the soup. Alternatively, toast bread slices in toaster and spread pesto on top. Omit cheese, if desired.