Winter isn’t my favorite season. I’m all about sunshine, blue skies, warm weather and sandy beaches. The only thing I like about winter is comfort food. This winter vegetable soup is a favorite of mine. The sweetness of butternut squash, carrots and the earthy taste of potatoes are combined in this delicious and healthy soup. Would you believe me if I tell you this soup can be ready in 30 minutes? Well, let me show you how.
To easily and quickly peel the butternut squash, using a sharp knife, I cut the butternut squash in 1.5 inch sections. I then take each section and lay it flat on a cutting board and go around cutting the skin from around the outer edges. Once peeled, I dice it.
About the kale – I used curly kale because that’s what I had on hand. I only used the leaves and discarded the tough ribs. You may choose to use Tuscan kale instead. So the entire leaf can be chopped in ribbons. I then cut the celery and chopped the onions.
The base of this hearty soup is pancetta. If you don’t have it on hand you may use bacon instead. I start by browning the pancetta and setting it aside. I love the smokey smell of pancetta cooking. I then cook the vegetables in olive oil, except kale. Add back the pancetta, kale, chicken broth, water and seasoning and cook covered on low heat until the vegetables are fully cooked.
I love dunking a piece of a baguette into this delicious soup and I’m sure you will love it too.
- 4 ounces thick cut pancetta, diced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 large carrots, diced
- 1 small butternut squash, peeled and diced
- 2 large potatoes, peeled and diced
- 2 celery stalks, cut into ½” pieces
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 cups kale, leaves
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 2 cups water
- 1 bay leaf
- salt and freshly ground pepper
- Over medium heat, in a large pot brown diced pancetta. Once browned, remove and set it aside.
- Decrease the heat to low, add the olive oil, carrots, butternut squash, potatoes, celery, onion, salt and pepper. Cook until slightly soft, stirring occasionally.
- Add the kale, browned pancetta, chicken broth, water and bay leaf. Cover and let it simmer over low heat for 15-20 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
- Serve warm with a piece of a baguette bread.