Sunday, February 12, 2012
Giada's Winter Minestrone...
Is a misnomer. This soup can and should be eaten year round. It's divine. I don't get to make it as often as I'd like to but only because it takes me a half hour of digging to find the bag of parmesan rinds in my freezer. Usually it ends up having fallen behind a pint of old Blue Bell my husband forgot about. Or a tiny bottle of Tito's, the size of which always makes me wonder, why bother?
Giada's Winter Minestrone
* Giada purees her soup but I like mine chunky. So I don't.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 (3 oz) package cubed pancetta
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 large bunch ('bout a pound) Swiss chard, stems trimmed, leaves coarsely chopped
1 russet potato, cubed
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes ( use fire roasted with chiles)
1 fresh rosemary sprig
1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, drained, rinsed
2 (14-ounce) cans low-sodium beef broth
1 ounce piece Parmesan cheese rind
lots of fresh grated nutmeg
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, pancetta, and garlic. Saute until the onion is translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the Swiss chard and potato; season with salt and pepper and saute for another 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes and rosemary sprig. Go ahead and let 'er simmer another couple minutes.
Finally add the beans, broth, Parmesan cheese rind and nutmeg to the vegetable mixture. Simmer until the potato pieces are tender, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. Stir in the whole parsley. Simmer until the beans are heated through - about another 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Discard Parmesan rind (unless you're me - then hope you get it in your bowl) and rosemary sprig (the leaves will have fallen off of the stem.)
Ladle the soup into bowls and serve with toasted french bread drizzled with olive oil.