Winter Vegetable Soup

Winter Vegetable Soup
We have created our new favorite winter soup and can't wait for you to try! It is packed with vitamins, protein, and energy. Plus, it's completely vegan!
1½ cups chopped yellow onions
2 cups (½-inch) diced carrots (3 carrots)
2 cups (½-inch) diced celery (3 stalks)
2½ cups (½-inch) diced peeled butternut squash
1½ tablespoons minced garlic (4 cloves)
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 Jar of Ciao Pappy Marinara Classico
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 small pasta (GF optional)
8 to 10 ounces fresh baby spinach leaves
2 tablespoons store-bought pesto (vegan optional)
freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving (vegan optional)
Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat in a large, heavy pot or Dutch oven. Add the onions, carrots, celery, squash, garlic, and thyme and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes.
Add the marinara, 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.
Discard the bay leaf. Add the beans and cooked pasta and heat through. The soup should be quite thick but if it’s too thick, add more chicken stock.
Just before serving, reheat the soup, add the spinach, and toss with 2 big spoons (like tossing a salad). Cook only until the leaves are wilted. Stir in the pesto. Salt to taste. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, drizzle with olive oil, and serve hot.
Buon appetito!

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