Yield
Makes 6 to 8 servings

"Minestrone is comfort food for our Italian family. It's very warming—I literally sweat when I eat it," says Lynn Bagley, founder of the Marin County Farmers Market Association in San Rafael, California.

How to Make It

Step 1

In a 5- to 6-quart pan, combine oil, onion, and garlic. Stir over high heat until onion begins to brown, about 5 minutes.

Step 2

Add broth and bay leaf. Bring to a boil over high heat.

Step 3

Cut off and discard peel from squash; cut squash into 1/2-inch cubes and add to pan. Cover and simmer over medium heat until squash is tender when pierced, about 6 minutes.

Step 4

Meanwhile, trim off discolored ends of Swiss chard stems. Rinse chard, shake off moisture, stack, and cut in half lengthwise; then cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-wide strips.

Step 5

Add Swiss chard, tomatoes, and beans to squash mixture. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring often, and boil until chard stems are tender when pierced, 3 to 4 minutes. Ladle into soup bowls.

Step 6

Season minestrone with salt, pepper, and cheese to taste.

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