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Minestrone is a thick soup made with a base of mirepoix (celery, onions and carrots), stock and tomatoes. To give it the bulk you add either pasta or rice. It can be vegetarian (use vegetable stock) or you can add meat.

I used tomato paste instead of tomatoes and added a can of pumpkin puree to give the stock a rich, thick consistency. (And the can of pumpkin helps me in my self-imposed competition of using 99 cans of pumpkin…)

I made this gluten-free by substituting regular pasta for a quinoa-based noodle.

Tuscan Chicken and Butternut Squash Minestrone

tuscan chicken and butternut squash minestroneWhat you need:

  • 3 tbs Devo Olive Oil Tuscan EVOO (sub with EVOO)
  • 1 c chopped celery
  • 1 c chopped carrots
  • 1 c chopped onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 can pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie)
  • 5 c organic chicken broth
  • 2 tbs tomato paste
  • 1 c Portobello mushrooms, rinsed and chopped
  • 1/2 butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2” cubes
  • 1 zucchini, cut into 1/2” cubes
  • 1 lb organic boneless chicken breast, cut into 1/2” cubes, seasoned with salt
  • 1 15-oz can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 c freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 2 tbs fresh, chopped Italian parsley
  • 1/2 tsp fresh, chopped rosemary
  • Freshly ground sea salt and black pepper
  • 1 8-oz box gluten-free pasta

What you do:

  • Heat EVOO in sauté pan and add celery, carrots and onion.
  • Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened.
  • Add garlic and cook about 1 min.
  • Remove from heat.
  • In crock pot, mix pumpkin, broth and tomato paste with immersion blender.
  • Add celery mixture, butternut squash, zucchini, mushrooms, chicken and cannellini beans.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Cover and cook on high for 1 hour.
  • Reduce heat to low and cook for 3 hours, or until squash is softened.
  • Close to the end of cooking, boil pasta according to directions.
  • Drain and return to pot.
  • Add some minestrone liquid to pasta.
  • Add pasta to slow cooker.
  • Add Parmigiano-Reggiano, parsley and rosemary.
  • Spoon into individual serving dishes and season as desired.