While we were on vacation, we made this Minestrone recipe, originally from Ina Garten. It was super satisfying, especially because the weather was cold up north! The day we arrived back at home, we harvested all of the remaining veggies from our own yard—snow was on the way. Our crop this year included over 20 winter squash, and a giant pile of swiss chard. With Ina’s recipe fresh on my mind, I knew one way to put those veggies to work. After a few adaptions, we had a pot full of perfectly fall minestrone. Cozy, but also chock-full of veggies, which is just want I look for right after vacation.
Serves: 6 | Active Time: 30 minutes
- Turn Instant Pot to Sauté setting. If using pancetta, place in pot and cook for a few minutes, browning on each side.
- If pot is dry, add coconut oil. This can be skipped if there is a good amount of oil in the pot from the pancetta. Place onion, celery, carrots, and garlic in pot, and stir to combine. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until onion is translucent.
- Using a knife, remove the stems from the swiss chard leaves. Place the green parts aside (reserve for later) and dice the stems. Add the stems to the pot.
- Pour wine into pot. Using a wooden spatula, scrape the bottom of the pot, releasing any brown bits as the wine simmers (this adds flavor to the soup).
- Add butternut squash, beans, diced tomatoes, broth, pepper, bay leaf, and thyme to pot. Stir. Place lid on Instant Pot and set to “Bean/Chili” setting. Set timer to 1 minute with vent in the sealed position.
- When timer goes off, release the pressure and open the pot.
- Chop the reserved swiss chard leaves into bite-sized pieces, and roughly chop the basil. Stir both into the soup. Taste, and season with salt to your preferences (note: store bought broth will likely already have salt in it, so you may not need much. Homemade broth usually doesn’t already have salt, so more will need to be added).
- Divide pasta among serving bowls. Ladle soup into bowls, and stir to incorporate pasta. Top with grated Parmesan cheese. Serve hot. Great with a side of garlic bread or crostini!
- Note: We stir the pasta into each serving bowl, rather than the whole pot, because if you put all of the pasta into the soup, it will absorb much of the broth, and the next day, you’ll find your leftovers are not very soup-like.