Minestrone with Sole
Thick and chunky with vegetables and pieces of sole, this pesto-flavored soup is hearty enough to make a meal. Serve it hot to take the chill off a winter night, or at room temperature for a cool summertime supper.
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 carrots, cut into 1/4-inch dice
- 2 ribs celery, cut into 1/4-inch dice
- 3/4 pound boiling potatoes (about 2), peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice
- 1 zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch dice
- 1/4 head cabbage (about 3/4 pound), shredded
- 3 3/4 cups canned low-sodium chicken broth or homemade stock
- 1 1/2 cups drained and rinsed canned pinto beans (one 15-ounce can)
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 1/2 pounds sole fillets, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2 tablespoons pesto, store-bought or homemade
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
- 1. In a large pot, melt the butter with the oil over moderate heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, carrots, celery, and potatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add the zucchini and cabbage and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes longer.
- 2. Add the broth, beans, tomato paste, and salt and bring to a simmer. Simmer, partially covered, until the vegetables are tender, about 18 minutes. Add the sole, pesto, and pepper and bring back to a simmer. Cook, uncovered, until the fish is just done, about 1 to 2 minutes more. To serve, ladle into bowls and pass more pesto if you like.
- Fish Alternatives: You can use any other member of the flounder family, such as sand dab or fluke, in place of the sole. Or try a firmer, white fish, such as cod, halibut, or monkfish. For these thicker fish, add another minute to the cooking time.
- Wine Recommendation: A light Italian white wine will be delightful with the vegetables and pesto. Look for the most recent vintage of a pinot grigio from the northern Alto Adige region.
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