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Appetizers, Mains, Soups

Tuscan minestrone

Tuscan minestrone
Los Angeles Times

The big soup -- it's minestrone. That's literally what it means. And it's not just the big soup, but the big summer soup, because of all the fantastic vegetables you can get at the markets or from your own garden ... Read more

Total time: About 1 hour, 30 minutes, plus soaking time for the beans | Serves 6 to 8
  • 8 ounces dried cannellini beans (about 1 1/4 cups)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil plus olive oil for drizzling
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onions
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped carrots
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 1 (4-inch) sprig rosemary
  • About 12 fingerling potatoes or small Yukon gold potatoes, 3/4-inch diced (about 1 cup)
  • 2 to 3 small zucchini, cut into 3/4-inch pieces (about 3 cups)
  • 1 large tomato, peeled, seeded and cut into 3/4-inch pieces (about 1 cup)
  • Salt, pepper
  • 3 tablespoons finely sliced basil strips

Step 1Bring 1 quart of water to boil. Place the cannellini beans in a medium bowl, and pour the boiling water over them to cover. Allow the beans to stand one hour, then drain. Set aside.

Step 2In a large saucepot, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-low heat. Stir in the onions, carrots and celery and saut? until tender, about 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in the garlic, and saut? just until fragrant but not browned, about 30 seconds.

Step 3Stir in the chicken broth along with the drained beans and the sprig of rosemary. Bring the soup to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Partially cover the pot and simmer for 45 minutes.

Step 4Stir in the potatoes, then cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in the zucchini and tomato, cover and continue to simmer 10 more minutes.

Step 5Season the soup to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into bowls and sprinkle each serving with fresh basil and a light drizzle of olive oil. Serve immediately.

Note: From Donna Deane.

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