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Minestra Paesana (D/M, TNT)
Source: Jessica's Biscuit Co. Recipe reprinted with permission of Workman Publishing, New York, New York.
Serves: 8-10

For the Soup:
2 medium carrots, cut lengthwise into quarters, then crosswise into small chunks
8 ounces green beans, trimmed and cut into 1" lengths
1 large bunch Swiss Chard (about 2 pounds), leaves separated from stems, stems coarsely chopped, leaves thinly slivered
2 small zucchini, trimmed and cut lengthwise into quarters, then crosswise into small chunks
Fine sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

For the Garnish:
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1 clove garlic, green germ removed, minced
2 small ribs celery, strings removed, diced
3 ounces 1/4"-thick slices smoked turkey or pastrami OR parmesan cheese, grated, cut into tiny dice

Place the carrots, beans, chard stems, and zucchini into a large pot and add water to cover by about 2". Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until all the vegetables are tender, about 40 minutes.

Add the chard leaves and the salt; cook until the leaves are wilted and tender, about 35 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and remove from the heat.

While the vegetables are cooking, prepare the garnish. Place the oil, onion, garlic, celery and meat in a medium-size skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are tender and completely translucent, about 20 minutes. Be vigilant, adjusting the heat so the vegetables don't brown. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Serve the soup and the garnish hot or at room temperature. Either way, stir the garnish into the minestra just before serving. (If preparing for dairy, add cheese here)

Poster's Notes:
Just got this recipe from the Jessica's Biscuit Co. as a come-on for a book. I have removed the instructions for using prosciutto ham and suggest you either use smoked turkey or pastrami for a fleishig soup, or leave out the meat and use grated parmesan cheese with the garnish for dairy.

From Sari Shifrin, Ann Arbor: Thanks Wendy for sharing the Minestrone recipe. I was inspired to go out to my garden where I harvested chard, green beans, and zucchini. Always one to "tweak" recipes, I added a few home grown tomatoes and some pasta to the soup. As I was out of celery, I sautéed a green pepper in place of the celery. I also added a generous tablespoon of dried Italian seasoning to the soup. With some freshly grated Parmesan, my family really enjoyed this soup for dinner.

Posted by Wendy Baker

Nutritional Info Per Serving: N/A