Minestra di Verdure
1/4 cup olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, cut into large dice
1 carrot, cut into large dice
1 rib celery, cut into large dice
2 cloves garlic, peeled
2 zucchini, sliced
1 potato, peeled and diced
1/4 cup peas, fresh or frozen
1/2 cup cooked cannellini beans
1 bunch spinach (about 8 ounces), washed and stemmed, leaves left whole
1/2 bunch green chard (about 4 ounces), roughly chopped
4 cups vegetable or chicken stock
3 tomatoes, diced
2 sprigs rosemary, tied with kitchen string
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup dry, small pasta such as stars, ditalini or orzo
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Heat the olive oil in a heavy-bottomed soup pot over medium heat. Sauté the onions, carrot and celery until aromatic and beginning to soften, about 5 minutes, then add the garlic. Add the zucchini, then the potatoes, peas and cannellini beans, then the spinach and chard, sautéing for about 3 minutes after each addition.
Add the vegetable stock, tomatoes, rosemary and salt and pepper to taste, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until all the vegetables are completely tender, 25 to 35 minutes. Remove and discard the rosemary sprigs. Using an emulsion blender, purée the soup until it is very smooth. Alternatively, purée it in small batches in a food processor or blender (use caution, as hot liquids and steam rise quickly in the processor and blender). Return the soup to the pot and bring it back to a boil; add the pasta, reduce the heat slightly and cook until tender. Ladle the soup into bowls and drizzle with the extra-virgin olive oil and Parmigiano-Reggiano.
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