Three Bean Minestrone Emilia Romagna Style
The Italians are masters at making vegetables flavorful. Minestrone is another example of a soup inspired by the seasons. The name comes from the Italian term minestra, meaning soup. Using multiple varieties of beans adds a multitude of colors, shapes, sizes, and textures that make this light, flavorful soup comforting, satisfying, and appealing to the eye.
|Olive oil||½ cup|
|Onions, small dice||2 cups|
|Carrots, small dice||1 cup|
|Celery, small dice||1 cup|
|Mixed Beans, dry, soaked*||1 cup|
|Stock, chicken or vegetable||2 quarts|
|Crust from Parmigiano 3 X 3, cleaned||1 ea.|
|Yukon Gold potatoes, small dice||1 cup|
|Zucchini, small dice||2 cups|
|Tomatoes, plum, canned||1 cup|
|Spinach, shredded||4 cups|
|Kosher salt and fresh ground||to taste|
|Parmigiano, grated||1 cup|
Melt butter with olive oil over low heat, add onions, and sweat until wilted and soft, about 10 minutes. Add carrots and cook 3 minutes. Add celery, soaked beans, stock, and Parmigiano rind and cook for about 45 minutes, or until the beans are al dente.
Add diced potatoes and zucchini and cook for another 20 minutes. Add tomatoes and their juices.
Partially cover and cook at low simmer for at least 30 more minutes. Add more broth as necessary.
Add spinach and a splash of olive oil; season with kosher salt and black pepper.
Serve with a drizzle of olive oil and some of the grated Parmigiano.
*Note: Beans need to be soaked overnight in a container with cold water to cover by 3 inch. Drain the water and use in the soup. Mixed beans can be pink, pinto, kidney, white beans, butter beans or cranberry.
Yield: 2 quarts