Winter Minestrone

PUBLISHED ON: 10.30.2009

This soup is soul satisfying and full of winter greens. Since this soup has to cook slowly don’t worry about prepping all your vegetables before you begin-just chop as you go.

Winter Minestrone
Serves 8
Recipe from Gourmet
1/3 lb. sliced pancetta, chopped
3 medium red onions, chopped
4 celery ribs, chopped
2 medium carrots, chopped
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 bunch swiss chard
6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 (28-oz) can whole tomatoes in juice
3 qt hot water
5 cups coarsely chopped cored Savoy cabbage (6 oz)
5 cups coarsely chopped escarole (1/2 lb)
1 piece Parmigiano-Reggiano rind
1 (19-oz) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
Accompaniments: extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling; cooked ditalini pasta tossed with oil (optional);grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

1. Cook pancetta, onions, celery, and carrots in oil in a wide 7-to 9-qt heavy pot over medium heat, stirring occasionally, while preparing chard.
2. Cut out stems from chard and chop stems, reserving leaves. Stir chard stems into pancetta mixture with garlic, 1 tsp salt, and 3/4 tsp pepper and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are very tender and begin to stick to bottom of pot (about 45 minutes).
3. Push vegetables to one side of pot. Add tomato paste to cleared area and cook, stirring constantly, until it starts to caramelize, about 2 minutes. ( Paste may stick to pot, but don’t let it burn).
4. Stir into tomatoes with their juice, breaking them up with a spoon,then add hot water (3 qt), scraping up any brown bits from bottom of pot.
5. Bring to a simmer. Stir in cabbage, escarole, and parmesan rind. Simmer, covered, until greens are tender, about 40 minutes.

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