Winter minestrone soup

Earthier than its summer alternative, this soup is slowly cooked with white beans and light touches of pancetta, roasted winter squash, and rosemary. Hearty and healthy - the perfect combination for dark January nights.
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Serves 4 to 6

3 tbsp olive oil
2 medium onions, cut into small dice
* s
alt and pepper
* 1/4
 lb (4 oz) pancetta or bacon, sliced into 1/4-inch-wide strips
3 garlic cloves, minced
* 1/2
 tsp crushed fennel seeds
* 1/4 
tsp red pepper flakes
1 lb (16 oz) dried cannellini beans, soaked overnight in cold water and drained
6 cups water
1 lb (16 oz) winter squash, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
* 1/2 lb (8 oz) small pasta, such as tubetti or orrechiette, cooked until al dente and drained
2 tsp chopped rosemary
* f
ruity olive oil for drizzling

1.  In a heavy soup pot, heat two tablespoons of the olive oil over medium to high heat. Add the onions, season with salt, and cook until softened, about five minutes.

2. Add the pancetta, garlic, fennel seeds, and red pepper flakes and cook for two minutes. Add the beans and water, bring to a simmer, and cook gently until the beans are very tender, about one and a half hours.

3.  Meanwhile, heat the oven to 200°C (400°F). Put the squash cubes on a baking sheet, season with salt and pepper, and coat with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Roast until tender and lightly caramelized, about 30 minutes. Set aside to cool.

4. Adjust the seasoning of the beans and broth with salt and pepper. Gently stir in the cooked squash and pasta and heat through.

5.  To serve, ladle into bowls. Sprinkle each serving with a pinch of freshly chopped rosemary and a drizzle of fruity olive oil.

More recipes from One Good Dish:
Ham and gruyère bread pudding

Extracted from One Good Dish by David Tanis (Artisan, £17.99) Copyright ©2013. Photographs by Gentl & Hyers


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