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- Minestrone of Summer Vegetables
- (Minestrone di Verdure Estive)
For the Vegetable Broth:
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 large carrots, peeled, sliced
2 medium onions, sliced
1 medium fresh fennel bulb, sliced
1 medium celery root (celeriac), peeled, sliced
1/2 head of garlic, crushed (with peel)
6 large fresh Italian parsley sprigs
3 bay leaves
1 large fresh rosemary sprig
2 large tomatoes, chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
16 cups water
For the Croutons:
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 large garlic cloves, minced
3 cups 1/2-inch cubes baguette or rustic country-style bread
For the Vegetable Soup:
1 cup dried cranberry beans or cannellini (white kidney beans)
4 small carrots, peeled, sliced
3 large shallots, thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 medium white-skinned potatoes, peeled, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
1 cup fresh edamame beans or frozen, thawed
1 cup sliced trimmed Italian pole beans or green beans (about 5 ounces)
1 cup 1/2-inch cubes peeled celery root (celeriac)
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
4 lacinato (black) kale leaves, thinly sliced crosswise
2 and 1/2-pints red and/or yellow cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1/2 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
Freshly shaved Parmigiano cheese, or Asiago cheese
- Prepare the Vegetable Broth:
Heat olive oil in very large pot over medium-high heat.
Add carrots and next 7 ingredients.
Saute until vegetables are golden and begin to soften, about 12-15 minutes.
Add tomatoes and tomato paste.
Stir to blend.
Add 16 cups water and bring to boil.
Cover and simmer 2 and 1/2 hours.
Strain vegetable mixture, pressing on solids to extract as much liquid as possible.
Discard solids in strainer.
Measure 13 cups broth and pour into large bowl (reserve remaining broth for another use).
Season broth with salt.
Prepare the Croutons:
Heat olive oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat.
Stir 30 seconds.
Add bread cubes.
Stir until crisp and golden, about 7-8 minutes.
Remove from heat.
Prepare the Vegetable Soup:
Place cranberry beans in medium bowl.
Add enough cold water to cover beans by 2 inches.
Let stand at room temperature overnight.
Place beans in large saucepan.
Add enough cold water to cover beans by 3 inches.
Bring to boil.
Reduce heat and simmer until beans are tender, about 1 hour 15 minutes.
Bring 13 cups vegetable broth to simmer in large pot over medium-high heat.
Add carrots and next 7 ingredients to broth.
Bring to boil.
Reduce heat and simmer until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally, about 45 minutes.
Add cranberry beans and kale and simmer 15 minutes.
Stir in cherry tomatoes and parsley.
Simmer just until heated through, about 5 minutes.
Season soup with salt and pepper.
Ladle vegetable soup into bowls.
Garnish with garlic croutons and shaved cheese and serve. Makes 8 servings.
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