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Annabelle Breakey Photo by: Annabelle Breakey

Vegetable Minestrone

The variety of the vegetables, two kinds of legumes, and the Italian trick of cooking a bit of parmesan rind in the soup for added flavor create a palate-pleasing minestrone miles beyond the bland bean-and-pasta version so often served. The soup is flexible too; add your favorite vegetables or use whatever is bountiful in your garden this harvest. This soup keeps frozen for up to 3 months.

Sunset OCTOBER 2007

  • Yield: Makes 10 servings
  • Total:1 Hour

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch Swiss chard, rinsed thoroughly
  • 4 medium tomatoes
  • 2 cans (14 1/2 oz. each) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained, divided
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4-in. dice
  • 2 medium zucchini, quartered lengthwise and cut into 1/4-in. pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 cups shredded savoy or green cabbage
  • 1 can (14 1/2 oz.) chickpeas (garbanzos), rinsed and drained
  • 3- to 4-in. parmesan cheese rind
  • 4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • About 1/2 cup freshly shredded parmesan

Preparation

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Meanwhile, cut stems from Swiss chard leaves by making a V-shaped cut into each leaf around the stem. Finely chop stems, cut leaves into ribbons, and set both aside separately.

2. Boil tomatoes for 30 seconds. Lift out with a slotted spoon and rinse under very cold water. Remove the skin with a paring knife or vegetable peeler. Cut tomatoes into quarters, remove seeds, and chop. Set tomatoes aside.

3. Whirl half of cannellini beans with 1/2 cup water in a blender until smooth. Set bean purée aside.

4. Cook olive oil and garlic in a large pot over medium-high heat until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add carrots, zucchini, reserved chopped chard stems, and salt. Cook, stirring, until stems are tender, about 5 minutes. Add white wine and cabbage. Cook, stirring, until cabbage wilts, 2 to 3 minutes.

5. Add reserved chard leaves, remaining cannellini beans, the chopped tomatoes, bean purée, chickpeas, parmesan rind, and broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to maintain a steady simmer. Cook until all vegetables are tender and flavors blend, about 15 minutes. Remove parmesan rind. Serve soup hot, topped with shredded parmesan.

Note: Nutritional analysis is per serving.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 182
  • Calories from fat: 28%
  • Protein: 11g
  • Fat: 5.6g
  • Saturated fat: 1.4g
  • Carbohydrate: 22g
  • Fiber: 6.4g
  • Sodium: 694mg
  • Cholesterol: 3.9mg
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Vegetable Minestrone recipe

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