This recipe makes a huge pot of soup. Perfect for enjoying over the week or freezing for another time. A Parmesan rind in the broth contributes a nice pop of seasoning to the vegetables and beans and complements the creamy cheesy burrata topped toasts. Recipe developed by Amy Stevenson for Food Network Kitchen.
Make the minestrone: Put the beans in a large pot or bowl and add enough water to cover by a few inches. Let soak in the refrigerator overnight.
Drain and rinse the beans. Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the pancetta and cook, stirring, until the fat is rendered, about 3 minutes. Add the leek, carrots and celery; cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste, garlic, rosemary and red pepper flakes and cook until sizzling, about 1 minute.
Add the chicken broth, 2 quarts water and the crushed tomatoes; bring to a simmer, then add the drained beans, bay leaves and Parmesan rind. Simmer until the beans are almost tender, 45 to 50 minutes. Season with 1 1/2 teaspoons salt.
Add the butternut squash and escarole to the pot and cook until all the vegetables and the beans are very tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Add the ditalini and cook until al dente, 8 to 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the toasts: Preheat the oven to 400˚ F. Arrange the bread on 2 baking sheets and bake until crisp and golden, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Rub one side with the garlic clove, brush with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Spread the burrata on the bread and sprinkle with oregano and red pepper flakes. Return to the oven just to heat the burrata, about 2 minutes. Drizzle with olive oil.
Remove the bay leaves from the soup; stir in the parsley. Ladle into bowls and drizzle with olive oil. Serve with grated Parmesan and the burrata toasts.
You can make this soup in advance but add the pasta right before you reheat and serve it.