Winter minestrone

This is a tasty dish out of peasant veggies.

2 tb olive oil
2 large carrots, chopped
1 large red onion, chopped
1 head celery, chopped, reserving the leaves
1 head garlic, cloves peeled
1 kg swiss chard or silverbeet, leaves shredded, stalked chopped
small bunch parsley, finely chopped
1 tin tomatoes
1 kg cavolo nero (spinach can be used), stalks removed, leaves shredded
125 g cooked cannellini beans
500 ml chicken stock, boiling
sprigs of thyme & sage, chopped
parmesan, grated

First make the soffitto. Slowly fry the carrot, onion and celery uncovered in the oil until soft and dark – a long time. Add garlic, chard stalks, half the parsley and cook. Add tomatoes and cook for 10 minutes.

Add half the chard leaves and half the calvalo nero, 3/4 of the beans and the stock. Bring to the boil, simmer for 30 minutes. The soup should be very thick. Add remaining leaves, blanch briefly, season. The leaves should be crisp and green.

Puree remaining beans and add. Add herbs, parmesan and olive oil to taste.

From: The River Cafe Cookbook

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