Recipe for Minestrone Toscano (Tuscan Vegetable Soup)


2 cup dried white (haricot) beans; soaked overnight
1/2 cup olive oil
2 centiliter garlic; finely chopped
1 small onion; thinly sliced
2 each stalks celery; diced
1 each carrot; diced
2 each sprigs rosemary; finely chopped
1/2 cup bacon; finely chopped optional
5 teaspoon tomato paste
1/2 each head savoy cabbage; shredded
2 each to 3 leeks; chopped
3 each zucchini; diced
1 finely chopped basil to taste
2 each sprigs parsley; finely chopped
1 each clove
1 salt and pepper
2/3 cup rice or noodles, or pieces of toast; ed bread


Cook the beans in their soaking water for about 2 hours, or until tender. Drain, reserving the liquid, and put about half of them through a fine sieve (or blender). Put aside. Heat the oil in a large pan and gently saute the garlic, onion, celery, carrot, rosemary and bacon until they begin to brown. Dilute the tomato paste with a little warm water, stir it into the pan, then add the cabbage, leeks, zucchini (courgettes), basil, parsley, and clove, as well as the pureed and whole beans, and their cooking water. Add a little extra hot water if needed. Check seasoning. Cook slowly for 30 minutes. If using rice or noodles, add them to the broth at this point and cook until tender. Otherwise, serve the thick soup poured over slices of toast, adding a little extra olive oil.

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