Minestrone Alla Tucson CSA

March 3, 2008

Minestrone Alla Tucson CSA

Lorraine Glazar, Tucson CSA (adapted from The Classic
Italian Cookbook, by Marcella Hazan, 1976)

I followed the classic technique from Marcella Hazan, but
substituted for winter ingredients, and what we had in our
shares. I love the direction “crust from a one to two pound
piece of Parmesan, carefully scraped clean”.

For 6 to 8 servings as a first course, 4 to 6 as a main meal

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup thinly sliced yellow onion
1 cup diced carrots
1 cup diced celery (or chard stems)
2 cups peeled, diced rutabaga (or potato)
1 cup cauliflower floweret’s (optional-some do not care
for their flavor in a mixed soup)

1 cup diced green beans (I had these frozen from August
2007, you may substitute frozen green peas)

3 cups finely sliced rapini leaves (minimize the use of
stems and flowers)

6 cups homemade vegetable stock or 2 cups canned
vegetable broth mixed with water

The crust from a 1 or 2 pound piece of Parmesan cheese,
carefully scraped clean (optional)

2/3 cup canned Italian tomatoes, with their juice
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan (optional)

¾ cup dried white beans, cooked in advance or one can
white beans, drained and rinsed

Choose a stockpot large enough for all the ingredients. Put
in the oil, butter, and sliced onion and cook over medium low
heat until the onion is pale gold. Add the diced carrots
and cook for 2 or 3 minutes, stirring once or twice. Repeat
this procedure with the celery (or chard stems), rutabaga
(or potato), cauliflower, and green beans (but not the
frozen peas), cooking each one a few minutes and stirring.

Then add the sliced rapini and cook for about 5 minutes,
giving the pot an occasional stir.

Add the broth, the cheese crust, the tomatoes and their
juice, and a little bit of salt. If you are using canned broth,
go easy on the salt until you taste the finished product.

Cover and cook at a very slow boil for about one hour. It
is still good if you only have 30 minutes, but the flavors
meld and deepen with longer cooking. If you find that the
soup is becoming too thick, add more homemade broth or
water, not more canned broth.

Fifteen minutes before the soup is done, add the canned or
pre-cooked beans and the frozen peas (if you substituted
them for the green beans). Just before turning off the heat,
remove the cheese crust, swirl in the grated cheese, taste,
then correct for salt.

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