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Print this Recipe    Minestrone 06

Minestrone

1 oz. dried porcini mushrooms
1/4 lb. swiss chard
1/4 lb. spinach
salt
2 small zucchini, diced
2 medium white potatoes, peeled and diced
2 japanese (or baby) eggplants, peeled and diced
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups uncooked tubetti pasta
2 cups cooked white beans
freshly ground black pepper
Pesto (recipe follows)

Soak mushrooms in 2 cups warm water until soft, about 20 minutes.
Remove mushrooms (reserving soaking liquid) rinse, chop, and set
aside. Pour mushroom water through a coffee filter and reserve.
Wash chard and spinach in several changes of cold water. Trim and
discard stalks from chard and stems from spinach. Chop leaves.
Bring mushroom water and 6 cups salted water to a boil in a large
pot. Add mushrooms, chard, spinach, zucchini, potatoes, eggplant,
olive oil, and whatever other vegetables you may be using. Reduce
heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 1 hour.

Pesto

2 tbsp. pine nuts (aka pignoli)
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cloves garlic, peeled and choppd
2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbsp. freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano

Pulse pine nuts and salt in a food processor
until finely ground. Add garlic and basil, and drizzle in olive
oil. Add parmigiano-reggiano and process into a smooth paste.
After cooking the soup for an hour, add pasta to soup. Cook pasta
in soup for about 10 minutes; add beans and cook 5 minutes longer.
Stir in 2 tbsp. pesto, reserving the rest for another use and season
with salt and pepper. Serve hot or, in the Genoese tradition, at
room temperature. Serve sprinkled with additional parmigiano-reggiano.

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