Minestrone with Sauteed Croutons and Parmigiano-Reggiano

8 servings
  • Sauteed Croutons:
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 6 slices Italian bread, crusts removed and cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • Salt
  • Soup:
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large red onion, chopped
  • 2 large stalk celery, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 large carrot, diced
  • 1/4 pound pancetta, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 head Savoy cabbage, finely sliced, blanched and drained
  • 1/2 bunch Swiss chard, finely sliced
  • 1 large waxy potato, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 3 medium tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 1 bouquet garni (rosemary sprig, 4 thyme sprigs, 1 bay leaf, bunch parsley)
  • 3 cups cooked cannellini beans
  • 1 cup spinach leaves, coarsely chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Sauteed Croutons:
  • Heat olive oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat, add the garlic and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, to flavor the oil. Remove the garlic, add the bread cubes and toss to coat. Saute until golden brown on all sides, season lightly with salt. Remove to a plate lined with paper towels.

  • Heat oil in a 4 quart pot, add the onion, celery, garlic, carrot and pancetta and cook until soft. Add the cabbage, chard, potato, water, broth, tomatoes and bouquet garni. Bring the soup to a gentle simmer and cook for 15 to 20 minutes. Place half of the beans (1 1/2 cups) in a food processor and process until smooth. Add the puree and the whole beans to the simmering soup. Simmer the soup for about 5 minutes. Add the spinach and cook for 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Ladle the soup into bowls, garnish with sauteed croutons and cheese.

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