This soup is the right mix of texture and flavor that softens the impact of a cold winter’s night…

This soup has become the new household favorite now that the weather has turned a little colder and we love having a more wintry mix of food at this time of the year.  Hope you ‘ll love this favorite!

Bone Warming Minestrone


  • 4 tablespoons of your favorite good olive oil
  • 4 ounces pancetta, 1/2 inch-dice
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped sweet onions
  • 2 cups diced carrots
  • 2 cups diced celery
  • 2 1/2 cups butternut squash, peeled and diced
  • 4 cloves fresh minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 26 ounces canned chopped tomatoes, I use San Marzano because they are the best
  • 6 to 8 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade, or your favorite organic one
  • 2 bay leaf
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 1 (15-ounce) can Garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed well
  • 2 cups cooked small pasta, such as Ditalini, cooked according to box instructions
  • 10 fresh baby bello mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
  • 8 to 10 ounces fresh escarole or spinach
  • 2 cups good dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons pesto, homemade or store bought
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving


  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat in a large, heavy pot or Dutch oven. Add the pancetta and cook over medium-low heat for 6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned. Add the onions, carrots, celery, squash, garlic, and thyme and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes, until the vegetables begin to soften.
  2. Add the white wine and cook for 2 minutes, add the tomatoes and mushrooms,cook for 2 more minutes.Add 6 cups of the chicken stock, the bay leaves, S and P to taste to the pot. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.
  3. Discard the bay leaf. Add the beans and cooked pasta and heat through. The soup should be pretty thick but if it’s too thick, add a little more more chicken stock.
  4. Just before serving, reheat the soup, add the escarole and stir it into the soup. Cook just until the leaves are wilted. put 1/2 tablespoon in pesto in each bowl and ladle soup over it. Sprinkle with a good Parmesan cheese and serve hot with a nice piece of grilled crunchy bread and a drizzle of great olive oil.
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