Autumn Minestrone Soup from The Simple Kitchen

As the weather gets colder and another school year gets underway, there’s nothing like coming home to a meal that’s cooked with love. And, no matter the age, you can get your kids involved in whipping up an easy and healthy dinner, like this veggie-packed Autumn Minestrone Soup courtesy of The Simple Kitchen in Plymouth, Michigan.

This soulful soup uses fresh, locally grown produce like butternut squash, and stews with garlic and fresh thyme for the perfect seasonal start to any meal. It’s quite low in carbs and calories, and is a good source of protein—brain food for homework time!

Roll up your sleeves, heat up the stove, and try this #MIKidsCan dish that will be your family’s newest comfort food.

Photo credit: A Healthier Michigan
MIKidsCan Blue Cross Blue Shield Children Health Recipes

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Autumn Minestrone Soup MIKidsCan The Simple Kitchen Blue Cross Recipe


2 Tbs. olive oil
4 ounces pancetta, 1/2 -inch-diced
1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onions
2 cups (1/2-inch) diced carrots (3 carrots)
2 cups (1/2-inch) diced celery (3 stalks)
2 1/2 cups (1/2-inch) diced peeled butternut squash
1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic (4 cloves)
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
26 ounces canned, chopped tomatoes
6 to 8 cups chicken stock
1 bay leaf
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups cooked quinoa
8 to 10 ounces fresh kale leaves
2 tablespoons pesto


1 baguette to make crostini croutons

Shredded Parmesan cheese for topping

Autumn Minestrone Soup

1. To cook the quinoa, put 2 cups of quinoa into a pot with 4 cups water. Bring to a boil and then simmer for about 20-25 minutes until water is absorbed and quinoa is tender.
2. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat in a large, heavy pot or Dutch oven. Add the pancetta and cook over medium-low heat for 6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned.
3. Add the onions, carrots, celery, squash, garlic, and thyme and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes, until the vegetables begin to soften.
4. Add the tomatoes, 6 cups of the chicken stock, the bay leaf, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper to the pot. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.
5. Preheat your oven to 375°F. Slice your baguette, lay out on baking sheet, brush with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Turn over, repeat the process and bake in oven for 15 minutes.
6. While the baguette is baking, discard the bay leaf. Add the beans and cooked quinoa and heat through. the soup should be quite thick but if it’s too thick, add more chicken stock.
7. Just before serving, reheat the soup, add the chopped kale leaves, and toss with 2 big spoons (like tossing a salad). Cook just until the leaves are wilted. Stir in the pesto. Depending on the saltiness of the chicken stock, add another teaspoon or two of salt to taste. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and your toasted baguette (crostini) brushed with olive oil.
8. Enjoy!

Nutritional information per cup::
1 serving = 1 cup
Amount Per Serving
• Calories: 129.6
• Total Fat: 4.5 g
• Saturated Fat: 1.0 g
• Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3 g
• Monounsaturated Fat: 1.3 g
• Cholesterol: 5.7 mg
• Sodium: 355.8 mg
• Potassium: 329.5 mg
• Total Carbohydrate: 16.6 g
• Dietary Fiber: 3.0 g
• Sugars: 3.8 g
• Protein: 6.0 g
• Vitamin A: 74.9 %
• Vitamin B-12: 0.0 %
• Vitamin B-6: 5.9 %
• Vitamin C: 26.2 %
• Vitamin D: 0.0 %
• Vitamin E: 1.2 %
• Calcium: 5.1 %
• Copper: 5.0 %
• Folate: 3.7 %
• Iron: 9.1 %
• Magnesium: 3.3 %
• Manganese: 4.4 %
• Niacin: 8.2 %
• Pantothenic Acid: 1.4 %
• Phosphorus: 3.8 %
• Riboflavin: 5.0 %
• Selenium: 3.0 %
• Thiamin: 4.0 %
• Zinc1.4 %
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

The Simple Kitchen (Plymouth, MI)

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