Sunday, March 7, 2010

Winter Minestrone

We had another cold snap last week and I made this yummy Winter Minestone. I added a hunk of fresh bread and made the perfect dinner for these last days of Florida's "winter".

Winter Minestrone 
adapted from Giada De Laurentis

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 leek, washed, only white and light green, chopped
1 tablespoon of bacon drippings
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound Swiss chard, stems trimmed, leaves coarsely chopped
1 russet potato, peeled, cubed
1 (14 1/2‐ounce) can diced tomatoes, no salt
1 fresh rosemary sprig
1 (15‐ounce) can cannellini beans, drained, rinsed
8 cups of vegetable broth
1/4 cup of parmesean cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
Salt and pepper

Heat the oil in a heavy large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery, and leeks.
Saute until the onion is translucent, about 10-15minutes. Add the Garlic, Swiss chard and potato; saute for 2
minutes. Add the tomatoes and rosemary sprig. Simmer until the chard is wilted and the tomatoes break
down, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, blend 3/4 cup of the beans with 1/4 cup of the broth in a processor until almost smooth. Add the pureed bean mixture, remaining broth, and Parmesan cheese to the vegetable mixture.
Simmer until the potato pieces are tender, stirring occasionally, about 15-20 minutes. Stir in the whole
beans and parsley. Simmer until the beans are heated through and the soup is thick, about 2 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Discard rosemary sprig (the leaves will have
fallen off of the stem.)

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