Butternut Squash {Kale} Minestrone

It's been one of those days where I wonder what the kids ate for breakfast. Or what kind of concoction their grandparents gave them right before they left.

But when I look outside, I realize: It's raining. Again.

Welcome Spring!

Or not.

They are coming down off the "my-grandparents-don't-have-much-better-to-do-than-play-with-me-all-weekend" high {and we love every minute of it}. But now the topic of the day has been "can we go to ______'s house?" and "let's go outside and play with _______". And really, we should have planned something social today -- none of us are feeling sick anymore, the rain makes us all crazed and lonely, and {do we always have to have three reasons?}. Really. We just need to see other people. =) Enough said.

We could have done another rain/mud dance -- but I did my hair today. Tut tut.

Should have anyway. Now I don't have any delicious pictures.

BUT WAIT! Did someone say delicious?

We did have something delicious to round out the day. Perfect with a slice of rye toast.

I made quite a few changes to the recipe {see below}.

It helped me feel better about the day. And forget about the PILE of laundry waiting to be folded. Tuesdays are such a bear.

Butternut Squash {Kale} Minestrone
4 celery stalks, finely chopped
1 onion, diced
3 carrots, peeled and diced
1 bay leaf, dried
2 tsp garlic granules {I didn't have fresh garlic!}
1/2 tsp salt {it needed a bit more}
1 tsp oregano {I didn't have rosemary}
8 cups chicken broth {I use Mckay's Chicken Seasoning -- 8 tsp for 8 cups of water}
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can dark red kidney beans {my preference}
1 butternut squash, peeled, chopped, baked
1 cup pasta of choice {I used the curly kind -- too lazy to get up and find the package to name it for you}
1 bunch of kale, washed and chopped {I omitted this, mostly because I forgot and then was too hungry to add it and wait}

So -- this recipe is for the slow cooker! But my first thoughts of minestrone came around 3pm. Too late to cook it slow. So here's what I did:

Prep the butternut squash and bake it at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes. Somewhere in there, you can saute the celery, onion, carrots, and seasonings for 5-10 minutes. Add the broth, tomatoes, beans, pasta and squash. Boil over medium heat for a few minutes, then simmer on low for an hour or so.

Add the kale just 10 minutes before serving. Remove bay leaves and serve with parmesan cheese, if desired.

I was able to use my new cooking pot -- yay! It did a great job.

We got the one-year-old seal of approval.