A New Twist on Minestrone

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squash.jpgJosiah Citrin is the chef and owner of Mélisse in Santa Monica. He has two children, ages 11 and 14 and he cooks with his family every Monday night. Last Monday he made a Minestrone soup, but with butternut squash in lieu of tomatoes.

To make Citrin's version of Minestrone, first sweat some onions in a pot. Add diced squash to the pan and allow it to caramelize. Then add vegetable or chicken stock, bring it to a boil and then simmer for roughly 35-40 minutes. Strain out the solids so that you are left with a butternut squash-infused stock. Add chopped fresh vegetables of your choice (Citrin added celery root, carrots, green beans, mushrooms and zucchini) to the strained broth and continue simmering at a low temperature (about 180-185° Fahrenheit) until the vegetables are just cooked through. You can also add pasta or chicken to give it more body. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley and serve.