Photo Credit: Elizabeth Newman
Minestrone is a beloved Italian soup, and one of the most recognizable ones in the US. It’s a thick, hearty stew with vegetables, and often with pasta or rice. In my version, I opt for heartiness from potatoes and cannellini beans! The step of blending up some of the beans with broth gives the soup a delicious, velvety texture.
There are a few secrets to amazing flavor in this soup. A bit of pancetta at the beginning imparts a ton of great savory flavor to the entire dish. Additionally, the Parmigiano rind is essential! It gives the soup an irresistible umami element.
I love to serve this with rustic, crusty bread to sop up the tasty broth. Overall, it’s an extremely comforting and nourishing dish with wonderful flavor.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion chopped
- 2 carrots peeled, chopped
- 2 celery stalks chopped
- 3 ounces thinly sliced pancetta coarsely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 pound Swiss chard stems trimmed, leaves coarsely chopped
- 1 russet potato peeled, cubed
- 1 14 1/2-ounce can diced tomatoes
- 1 fresh rosemary sprig
- 1 15-ounce can cannellini beans, drained, rinsed
- 2 14-ounce cans low-sodium beef broth
- 1 ounce piece Parmesan cheese rind
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
- Salt and pepper
- Heat the oil in a heavy large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery, pancetta, and garlic. Saute until the onion is translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the Swiss chard and potato; saute for 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and rosemary sprig. Simmer until the chard is wilted and the tomatoes break down, about 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, blend 3/4 cup of the beans with 1/4 cup of the broth in a processor until almost smooth. Add the pureed bean mixture, remaining broth, and Parmesan cheese rind to the vegetable mixture. Simmer until the potato pieces are tender, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. Stir in the whole beans and parsley. Simmer until the beans are heated through and the soup is thick, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Discard Parmesan rind and rosemary sprig (the leaves will have fallen off of the stem.)
- Ladle the soup into bowls and serve.