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Categories: Mains, Soups, Vegetarian

Winter Minestrone With Wheat Berries

I like wheat berries, those golden-brown, rice-like kernels of wheat which become plump and chewy when simmered in liquid. Rich in vitamins and fiber, they're often favored as cereal, but they can be added to a wide range of foods, ... Read more

Total time: 2 hours 45 minutes | Serves 8
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2/3 cup cooked wheat berries, rinsed and drained
  • 2 large red onions, cut into 1/2-inch dice (about 4 cups)
  • 2 large stalks celery, cut in 1/2-inch dice (about 1 cup)
  • 4 carrots, cut in 1/2-inch dice (about 1 cup)
  • 1 baking potato, peeled and cut in 1/2-inch dice (about 1 cup)
  • 2 zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch dice (about 2 cups)
  • 1/2 pound piece green cabbage, diced (about 2 cups)
  • 1/4 pound green beans, trimmed, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary
  • 1/3 cup minced fresh basil leaves
  • 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1 (15-ounce can) pinto beans, rinsed and drained, 1/2 cup pureed in food processor
  • Several small rinds from Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • Water
  • Coarse salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for serving
  • Chopped basil leaves, for serving
  • Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, for serving
  • Dried red pepper flakes, for serving

Step 1Heat oil in 6-quart pot over medium heat. Add wheat berries, onions, celery, carrots, potato, zucchini, cabbage, green beans, garlic, rosemary and basil. Cook, stirring often, until vegetables are mostly softened, about 20 minutes.

Step 2Add tomatoes and juice, whole and pureed beans, cheese rinds and 7 cups water. Bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, about 1 hour 30 minutes. Add more water to keep stew-like consistency. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be served immediately or cooled and refrigerated or frozen up to 3 days.)

Step 3To serve, use tongs to remove rinds. Adjust seasonings. Ladle into warm soup bowls, lightly drizzle with oil and sprinkle with basil. Pass cheese and red pepper flakes.

Each serving:
226 calories; 368 mg sodium; 0 cholesterol; 6 grams fat; 37 grams carbohydrates; 8 grams protein; 4.56 grams fiber.
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