After having the past couple of weeks in the high 70s, the weather is finally starting to dip down and feel more like winter here in California.
I chose to make minestrone soup for lunch today but with a slight twist. I added swiss chard and pureed cannellini beans, to help thicken the soup. Serve this with a slice of bread and a light green salad to complete the meal.
Serves 4 to 6
* 2 Tb extra virgin olive oil
* 1 yellow onion, chopped
* 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
* 2 celery stalks, chopped
* 2 garlic cloves, minced
* 1 lb swiss chard, stems trimmed and leaves roughly chopped
* 2 russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
* 1 ( 14 1/2 ounce ) can diced tomatoes
* 1 fresh rosemary sprig
* 1 ( 15 ounce ) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
* 28 ounces vegetable broth or vegan "beef" broth ( try Better than Bouillon brand )
* salt and pepper to taste
1. Heat oil in a heavy large pot over medium heat. Add onion, carrot, celery and garlic. Saute until onion is translucent, about 10 minutes.
2. Add swiss chard and potatoes, saute for 2 minutes.
3. Add the tomatoes and rosemary sprig. Simmer until the chard is wilted and the tomatoes break down, about 10 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, blend 3/4 of the beans with 1/4 cup of the broth in a processor until almost smooth. Add the pureed bean mixture and remaining broth to the vegetable mixture. Simmer until the potatoes are tender, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes.
5. Stir in the whole beans. Simmer until the beans are heated through and the soup is thick, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. ( Beware of adding too much salt because some stocks contains more than enough sodium ).
6. Discard the rosemary sprig, the leaves will have fallen off the stem.
Ladle the soup into bowls and serve with a crusty piece of bread.