Four Graces Pilates Studio

Comforting Winter Squash and Bean Soup - YUM!

4 large carrots
4 stalks celery, plus leaves
2 handfuls fingerling potatoes
1 large squash, peeled and cleaned (or 20 ounces cubed butternut squash)
3 plum tomatoes (optional)
1 large bunch kale 
1 small wedge aged Parmigiano Reggiano
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Several sprigs of fresh thyme
6 to 8 cups water, plus as needed
Pinch red pepper flakes
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 15-oz can of your favorite beans, rinsed and drained

1. Slice the carrots and celery plus the celery leaves. Quarter the potatoes and cut the squash into chunks. Quarter the tomatoes. Remove the ribs from the kale and chop into bite-sized pieces. Set all the vegetables aside. Trim the parmesan away from the rind (or use a rind saved from a previous wedge) and set the rest aside. 

2. Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot over medium high heat. Add the carrots, celery and celery leaves and stir to coat. Cook until lightly browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the potatoes, squash, tomatoes, water, thyme and parmesan rind and bring to a simmer. Add a generous pinch of red pepper flakes and season with salt and pepper. Cook until the vegetables are tender, the squash is beginning to break down, and the soup is full of flavor, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.

3. Stir in the beans and cook to warm through, 2 minutes. Remove the lid and add the kale. Stir to cook (uncovered) until bright green and tender, 3 minutes more. Ladle into bowls and grate parmesan cheese generously over the top. Serve warm with buttered bread.