Minestrone di verdura Tuscany
Preparation - Easy (takes a few hours of cooking, though)
Serves 4 - 6
Recipe adapted from Elizabeth Romers delightful "A Tuscan Year" a treat to read and to cook from.
1 large onion
2 large carrots
2 ribs of celery including their leaves
2 TBSP of extra virgin olive oil (you can optionally add a few additional TBSP of olive oil to each bowl when serving)
10 oz (300 g) of cooked white cannellini beans
9 oz (250g) Italian canned peeled tomatoes) or the equivalent weight of peeled and chopped fresh tomatoes
4 leaves of the dark Tuscan cabbage (four outer leaves of a green cabbage)
2 large peeled potatoes
stock (beef or chicken broth) as needed
a small bunch of parsley
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Large saucepan, optionally with cover.
Make the trittata by chopping the onion, carrots and celery (the odori) into small dice.
In a large saucepan heat up 2 T olive oil and in it cook these chopped odori until they have softened.
Next add the white beans, mixing them into the trittata, then in go the tomatoes which you break up as you stir them. At this point you may add a little stock if necessary.
Next to go into the pot are the diced potatoes and the roughly torn cabbage leaves.
Add a ladleful or two of stock and the parsley sprigs, which can be discarded after they have given up their flavour. Season the soup with salt and pepper and allow the minestrone to simmer over a gentle flame until the vegetables are tender. Characteristically minestrone is laden with vegetables; there should only be enough liquid to keep them moving easily in the pot - you can cover or add liquid or reduce to reach desired consistency.
When it is time for supper Silvana ladles the soup into deep soup bowls and into each bowl pours a little of her best olive oil. This enriches the soup and the hot liquid releases the fruity perfume of the oil, thus enhancing the flavour of the vegetables.