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Green Minestrone

Yield 4
Swiss chard, spinach, celery--this soup is a veritable sea of greens. Potatoes, pasta, and Parmesan give it substance and, along with the fennel, a distinctly Italian feel.

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 fennel bulb, chopped
  • 3 ribs celery, chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 pound boiling potatoes (about 3), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 quart canned low-sodium chicken broth or homemade stock
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup tubetti or other small macaroni
  • 1/2 pound Swiss chard, tough stems removed, leaves washed well and shredded (about 3 cups)
  • 1 pound spinach, stems removed, leaves washed well and shredded (about 5 cups)
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan

How to Make It

  1. In a large saucepan, heat the oil over moderately low heat. Add the onion, fennel, celery, and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables start to soften, about 10 minutes.

  2. Add the potatoes, broth, water, the remaining 1 1/4 teaspoons salt, and the pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the pasta and simmer for 5 minutes longer.

  3. Add the Swiss chard and spinach and bring the soup back to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the greens are wilted and the pasta is tender, about 5 minutes longer. Stir in the Parmesan.

  4. Variations

  5. You'll need a total of eight cups of shredded greens for this soup. Use one or any combination of the following: Swiss chard,spinach, escarole, green cabbage, or kale. The more variety the better.

  6. Wine Recommendation: Your best bet with all these greens is a charming, fruity red, such as a Beaujolais or Valpolicella. The bright berry flavors will contrast with and highlight the vegetables.

Quick from Scratch Vegetable Main Dishes