THE BEST MINESTSRONE
THE BEST RECIPE I HAVE SEEN!
INGREDIENTS: 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 1 medium spanish onion, chopped 2 carrots, peeled, diced fine 2 -3 inner celery stalks,finely diced 1/4 cup diced fresh fennel 1/4 cup diced radichio 3 ounces thinly sliced pancetta or lightly smoked bacon, cooked and coarsely chopped 2 garlic cloves,crushed 1 pound Swiss chard (red or white), stems trimmed, leaves coarsely chopped 1 Oregon russet potato, peeled, cubed 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes 1 sprig fresh rosemary, leaves chopped fine 1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, drained, rinsed or 2 cups cooked 2 (14-ounce) cans Swansonsฎ beef broth 1 ounce piece Parmesan cheese rind, or refrigerator remmnant (for flavor) 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat leaf Italian parsley Salt and pepper to taste
METHOD: Heat the olive 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; saute for 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and rosemary sprig. Simmer until the chard is wilted and the tomatoes break down, about 10 minutes. While cooking the tomatoes, blend 1/2 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 fork tender, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. Stir in the whole un-processed beans and parsley. Simmer until the beans are heated through and the soup is thick, about 2 - 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. NOTE: Discard Parmesan rind before serving.
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