Soup’s On

Well my friends, Fall is here!  Bust out the sweaters, scarves, pumpkin spice lattes and your best apple picking outfit.  I can’t say that I mind, especially since it’s soup season!  I defaulted to an old favorite of mine this weekend and it was just what I needed to ease into the season.  The great thing about this time of year is that produce is at its peak.  Farmers’ markets are full of fresh ingredients for your next pot of soup.

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Winter Minestrone

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 3 ounces thinly slices pancetta, coarsely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 point Swiss chard, stems trimmed, leaves coarsely shopped
  • 1 russet potato, peeled, cubed (or 5 red skin potatoes)
  • 1 (14 ½ oz) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 fresh rosemary sprig
  • 1 (15 oz) can cannellini beans, drained, rinsed
  • 2 14 oz cans of low-sodium beef broth
  • 1 oz piece of Parmesan cheese rind
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
  • Salt and pepper

 

Directions:

Heat the oil in a heavy large pot over medium heat.  Add the onion, carrots, celery, pancetta, and garlic.  Sauté until the onion is translucent, about 10 minutes.  Add the Swiss chard and potato; sauté 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 ¾ cup of the beans with ¼ cup of the broth in a processor until almost smooth.  Add the pureed bean mixture, remaining broth, and Parmesan cheese rind to the vegetable mixture.  Simmer until the potato pieces are tender, stirring occasionally, about 15 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 Parmesan rind and rosemary sprig (the leaves will have fallen off the stem).  Ladle the soup into bowls and serve!

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