Winter Vegetable Minestrone

"Minestrone is comfort food for our Italian family. It's very warming—I literally sweat when I eat it," says Lynn Bagley, founder of the Marin County Farmers Market Association in San Rafael, California.

Yield:

Makes 6 to 8 servings

Recipe from

Nutritional Information

Calories 140
Caloriesfromfat 10 %
Protein 7.8 g
Fat 1.6 g
Satfat 0.1 g
Carbohydrate 24 g
Fiber 6 g
Sodium 352 mg
Cholesterol 0.0 mg

Ingredients

1 teaspoon olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
6 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1 dried bay leaf
1/2 pound banana squash
3/4 pound Swiss chard
1 can (14 1/2 oz.) diced tomatoes with Italian seasonings
2 cans (15 oz. each) cannellini (white beans), rinsed and drained
Salt and pepper
Grated parmesan cheese

Preparation

1. In a 5- to 6-quart pan, combine oil, onion, and garlic. Stir over high heat until onion begins to brown, about 5 minutes.

2. Add broth and bay leaf. Bring to a boil over high heat.

3. Cut off and discard peel from squash; cut squash into 1/2-inch cubes and add to pan. Cover and simmer over medium heat until squash is tender when pierced, about 6 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, trim off discolored ends of Swiss chard stems. Rinse chard, shake off moisture, stack, and cut in half lengthwise; then cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-wide strips.

5. Add Swiss chard, tomatoes, and beans to squash mixture. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring often, and boil until chard stems are tender when pierced, 3 to 4 minutes. Ladle into soup bowls.

6. Season minestrone with salt, pepper, and cheese to taste.

Note:

January 1998