This minestrone, in the regional style of Liguria in northwest Italy, is finished with a lovely flavor burst of rosemary pesto.
Classic Minestrone Soup with Rosemary Pesto Recipe
• 3 tablespoons olive oil
• 1 large yellow onion, sliced
• Two 1⁄3-inch-thick slices prosciutto, cut in thin strips
• 2 large carrots, sliced
• 8 chard leaves, cut in thin strips
• 1 small cabbage, sliced thinly
• 14 to 16 ripe Italian paste tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped; or 3 tablespoons sun-dried tomato paste
• 8 cups chicken or vegetable stock
• 3 large cloves garlic, minced
• Handful fresh Italian parsley leaves
• Leaves from two 3-inch sprigs of fresh rosemary
• 6 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan, plus more for garnish
• 1⁄2 dried hot pepper
• Salt and pepper to taste
• 2 cups cooked cannellini beans or one 15-ounce can kidney beans
• 2 handfuls Romano beans, cut into 1-inch pieces
• 1 small green zucchini, sliced
• 4 ounces wide pasta noodles, broken into 3-inch pieces
1. Put olive oil, onion and prosciutto in a large stockpot. Sauté over low until onions are translucent. Add carrots, chard, cabbage and tomatoes. Cook a few minutes, then add stock. Cover and simmer on low, about 2 hours. Soup can be cooled and refrigerated at this point.
2. In the meantime, put garlic, parsley, rosemary, Parmesan and dried chili in a mortar to make pesto. Pound ingredients with a pestle into a crumbly paste. Set aside.
3. A half hour or so before serving, bring soup to a simmer and add cannellini and Romano beans, zucchini and pasta, and cook 5 to 10 minutes or until pasta is tender. Stir in rosemary pesto. Serve in individual bowls and top with Parmesan.
Find more delicious recipes featuring Italian herbs in A Guide to Italian Herb Seasonings.
Reprinted from The Edible Italian Garden by Rosalind Creasy.