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Cannellini Minestrone

Yield 8 servings (serving size: about 1 1/3 cups soup and 1/2 teaspoon oil)
This is a marvelously flavorful soup from the northwestern region of Liguria, also known as the Italian Riviera. Dried mushrooms and Swiss chard are both commonly used ingredients there. The addition of green chiles may seem out of place, but peppers are often used to infuse soups with a little heat. Serve with breadsticks.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups dried cannellini beans
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 cup dried porcini mushrooms (about 1 ounce)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 (4.5-ounce) can chopped green chiles
  • 3 cups torn Swiss chard (about 1 pound)
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil

Nutrition Information

  • calories 250
  • caloriesfromfat 17 %
  • fat 4.7 g
  • satfat 0.7 g
  • monofat 3.1 g
  • polyfat 0.7 g
  • protein 15.1 g
  • carbohydrate 39.7 g
  • fiber 10.7 g
  • cholesterol 0.0 mg
  • iron 7.3 mg
  • sodium 492 mg
  • calcium 171 mg

How to Make It

  1. Sort and wash beans; place in a large bowl. Cover with water to 2 inches above beans; cover and let stand for 8 hours or overnight. Drain and rinse beans.

  2. Combine beans and 8 cups water in a large Dutch oven; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 1 1/2 hours or until beans are tender.

  3. Combine mushrooms and boiling water to cover in a small bowl. Cover and let stand 30 minutes or until tender. Drain and chop.

  4. Place 2 cups cooked beans in a blender or food processor. Process until smooth; return pureed beans to pan. Stir in salt and pepper.

  5. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion, celery, and garlic; cook 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Stir in mushrooms, parsley, and the next 4 ingredients (through chiles); cook for 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add onion mixture and chard to beans in pan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes or until chard is tender. Ladle soup into individual bowls; drizzle with oil.