Minestrone

Your Royko Recipe for January, 2019

Minestrone
This soup is so full of vegetables that a bowl with a piece of bread makes a complete meal.
Makes 4 quarts
Food & Wine, Nov. 1991, Page 150. Credit: Diane Darrow.

1/2 lb. dried pinto beans
2 tbl. olive oil1/4 lb. finely chopped lean slab bacon
1/4 lb. finely chopped salt pork
2 tbl. finely chopped garlic
2 tbl. chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 tbl. basil
1/2 tsp. thyme
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. rosemary
1/8 tsp. dried red pepper flakes
1/2 lb. shredded Savoy cabbage
1/2 lb. coarsely chopped Swiss chard
1 medium halved lengthwise, sliced crosswise 1/4-inch thick leek-white part only
1 rib sliced crosswise 3/8-inch thick celery
4 coarsely chopped canned Italian plum tomatoes
1/2 lb. peeled, cut into 1/2-inch diced potatoes
1 medium sliced crosswise 1/4-inch thick carrot
1 medium halved lengthwise, sliced crosswise 1/2-inch thick zucchini
2 tsp. salt
Simple freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Freshly ground black pepper


Place beans in a large saucepan with water to cover by 2 inches and bring to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes, remove from heat and let sit, covered, for 1 hour before using. Drain and rinse well.


In a large stockpot, warm the olive oil over moderate heat. Add the bacon and salt pork, and cook until the fat is rendered (7 to 8 minutes). Add the garlic, parsley, basil, thyme, oregano, rosemary and red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes. Stir in the cabbage, Swiss chard, leek and celery. Cover and cook until soft (about 5 minutes).


Stir in the drained beans, tomatoes and 2 quarts of water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to moderately low, cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Stir in the potatoes and carrot, cover and cook until tender (about 30 minutes). Stir in the zucchini and salt and cook for 15 minutes longer. (The soup will keep for up to a week covered and refrigerated. Reheat before serving.) Serve in bowls with a sprinkling of Parmesan and black pepper.

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