- Minestrone Soup
- Serves 4
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 carrots, peeled, chopped
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 3 ounces thinly sliced pancetta, coarsely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 pound Swiss chard, stems trimmed, leaves coarsely chopped
- 1 russet potato, peeled, cubed into small dice
- 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
- 1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, drained, rinsed
- 2 (14-ounce) cans low-sodium beef broth
- 1 ounce piece Parmesan cheese rind (optional)
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
- salt and pepper to taste
Heat the oil in a heavy large pot over medium high heat. Add the onion and sauté until the onion has lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Add the pancetta and sauté until the pancetta has lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Add the carrots, celery, and garlic and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the Swiss chard and potato and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, broth and rosemary. Bring to a boil and reduce to medium low and simmer until the chard is wilted and the tomatoes break down, about 10 - 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, blend 3/4 cup of the beans with 1/4 cup of water in a mini processor until smooth. Add the pureed bean mixture, Parmesan cheese rind, and stir in the whole beans and parsley. Simmer until the potato pieces are tender, stirring occasionally, about 15-20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Discard Parmesan rind. Ladle the soup into bowls and sprinkle Parmesan cheese over.