I have been home sick with a stomach flu for the past couple of days and it hasn't been fun. I haven't been inclined to cook at all because doctors' orders include to drink lots of fluids and eat bland foods and to increase the intake of fruits and vegetables and lots of rest. I've been eating lots of salads/soups and drinking lots of water and hoping for this yucky bug to go away. I finally got hit by the cooking bug and I wanted something super-hearty and delicious and found a great soup recipe from my ginormous recipe book collection.
Minestrone verde seemed something right up my alley because it had lots of "green" vegetables that I love and it could be easily made in one large pot. It almost seemed like a "dump" soup where you keep on adding whatever vegetables on hand to the soup, but everything came together rather well. Rainbow chard or swiss chard is in season and adds a hearty, almost meaty flavor and beautiful color to the soup. (You won't miss the bacon.) Be careful and cut off the center vein, where its very fibrous and not edible. The yukon potatoes are rich and tender with the soup. Overall, it's everything what the doctor ordered and I'm feeling better already, mmmmm....good.
This makes a large pot of about 8 to 10 servings.
Adapted from Cat Cora's Classic with a Twist
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 cup of carrots, peeled and diced
1 cup of celery, diced
1 1/2 cup of onions, diced
7 cups of chicken stock
2 cups of zucchini, medium-diced
1 15-ounce can fire-roasted tomatoes, with juice reserved
1 15-ounce can white kidney beans, drained
1 cup of Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and diced
3 packed cups Rainbow chard, chiffonade
Salt & pepper
1 cup uncooked medium pasta (such as corkscrews, gemelli, or elbow macaroni)
3/4 cup pesto
1 to 2 Parmigianno Reggiano Rinds
In a large dutch oven over medium-high heat, add the olive oil. Add the mirepoix (carrots, celery and onions) and cook until translucent, about 10 minutes or so. Stir occasionally and season with salt and pepper.
Add the diced potatoes and pour in the stock. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook until the vegetables are crisp-tender, about 7 to 9 minutes.
Add the vegetables (zucchini, canned tomatoes, rainbow chard, kidney beans and parmigianno rind) and cook for another 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Bring the soup to a boil and stir in the uncooked pasta and cook until al dente. Season with salt and pepper to taste again.
Ladle soup into bowls and spoon a teaspoon or so of pesto over the soup. Enjoy!