March 23, 2011

Winter Soup in Spring

It’s called winter minestrone soup, though I enjoyed it equally as much yesterday evening even though it’s spring. Perhaps that’s because it still feels a little like winter around here, with the crusty white stuff still on the ground and nippy wind chill temps hovering around -11 degrees celsius. The soup is chock full of delicious veggies and flavour, making it good year-round.

I made a double-batch so I’d have some to freeze and enjoy after baby’s arrival. And really, when cooking soups and stews it really is just as easy to make a double or triple batch as it is to make a single pot. I started with this stash of ingredients – just look at all that orange and green goodness!

keep in mind this is enough for a double-batch
First, heat the olive oil in the pot.

While that warmed up, I chopped up my onion, carrots and celery.

I found pancetta already chopped, so that saved a step.

You just chuck all that in the pot with the hot oil and a little garlic ... and please don’t judge me for using the pre-minced garlic from the jar. I know the real stuff tastes better and adds more flavour and all that jazz. But I’m about 39 weeks pregnant, so easy-peasy outweighs peeling and mincing individual cloves of garlic these days! I sautéed that together for about 10 mins.

While those ingredients danced away together in the pot for about 10 mins with the occasional stir, I washed and chopped the swiss chard. It’s hearty and holds up to the rest of the soup marvellously. The recipe also calls for a chopped potato here, but I leave it out. Experience has shown the potato doesn’t freeze well, so I sub in extra beans later on.

Once the chard wilted a little, I added in the tomatoes and rosemary (the recipe calls for fresh sprigs, I used dried and it worked just fine). You bring it to a boil, turn back heat and simmer for about 10 more mins.

In the meantime, puree most of the white beans with a bit of broth.

Add it to the simmered veggie mix, along with the rest of the broth and simmer for another 15 minutes or so. I then added in remaining white beans plus the extra that I use to replace the potato. Simmer a couple of more minutes just to let the beans soften. Season with salt and pepper to taste, ladle and serve.

I like mine with crusty artisan bread. But if you prefer crackers, that’s cool too. Either way, it’s healthy, hearty and delish!

For the complete recipe visit


sandy said...

definitely trying this one soon!! yummy I love soup!

virgo said...

That looks awesome! Of course, I'm partial to anything with pancetta or proscuitto (even if I can't spell either).