Sometimes there’s nothing better than a hot bowl of homemade soup.
Yes, even over here in sunny California it does get cold. At night. Sometimes. For a few hours. Okay, okay, it’s nothing like the polar vortex the east coast and mid west experienced last winter, but still. It’s cold enough for a big bowl, or two, or three of this hearty soup.
Being from the east coast I definitely miss those cold winter nights, two hour delays, and school cancellations. Who wouldn’t? It breaks my heart that my children will most likely never experience the pure and utter joy of a snow day during the school week. They will never get snowed in at a friends house for days because the roads are too icy. And they will never get to go sledding, freezing their nose and toes off right in their own back yard. Sad face.
To this day I still get excited/jealous to hear when school is cancelled in Montgomery County (my home town). Yes that’s correct. I’m almost 32 years old and I want a freaking snow day!
Well, it ain’t gonna snow in LA, but it has been raining for the past 2 days, which has been simply delightful, cozy, and very much needed. I’ve truly never seen so many people happy to see rain.
Nobody was happier than me.
I love rain. Like, I love it so much. And while LA has some of the greatest weather of all time, it certainly doesn’t rain enough for my liking. Oh but when it does, you bet your bottom I’m making this soup. It’s hearty, healthy, extremely comforting, and the perfect meal for jammies and slippers. Then again, what meal isn’t perfect for jammies and slippers?
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onion
- 2 cups diced carrots
- 2 cups diced celery
- 2 1/2 cups diced butternut squash
- 2 cups diced zucchini
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
- 1 (26 ounce) can chopped tomatoes
- 6-8 cups chicken stock
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 (15 ounce) can white beans, rinsed and drained
- 8-10 ounces fresh baby spinach
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons pesto
- 1 french baguette
- Olive oil for drizzling
- Parmesan cheese, shredded
In a large pan heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions, carrots, celery, and butternut squash, and cook for about 8-10 minutes until veggies begin to soften. Add zucchini, garlic and thyme and cook for another 3-5 minutes.
Add the tomatoes, chicken stock, bay leaf, 1 tablespoon of salt, 1 1/2 teaspoons of pepper, and stir to combine. Bring soup to a boil then lower heat to simmer uncovered for 30 minutes.
Discard bay leaf. Add the beans and heat through. Add more stock if needed.
Just before serving add the spinach and toss with the soup until wilted. Stir in lemon juice, pesto, and more salt to taste. Top with the parmesan bruschetta and serve!
1) Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Thinly slice the baguette and lay flat on a sheet pan. Drizzle or brush the bread slices with olive oil. Bake the bread slices for 5-7 minutes or until golden brown. As soon as they come out of the oven top each slice of bread with shredded parmesan. Cheese will slowly melt.
Adapted from Ina Garten