Saturday, July 24, 2010

Zuppa di Verdure

When you discover last week's Swiss chard languishing in the crisper drawer (ahem), the only thing to do is make soup. Nothing is more forgiving to wilting greens than soup.

I decided to try a Mollie Katzen recipe I'd been hanging on to called zuppa di vedure (an Italian vegetable soup). Like most vegetable soups it has a friendly flexibility. You can swap out similar veggies to take advantage of what you have on hand. This time around I substituted sugar snap peas for green beans and skipped the mushrooms altogether.

It was lovely--much more charming than the picture above captures. It had a lightness fitting to the summer weather, with a flavor similar to minestrone. We served it with a crusty roasted garlic bread to dip into the broth. Yum!

Recipe below; printable version here.


2 Tbs. olive oil
1 medium-sized onion, minced
1 medium-sized stalk celery, minced
1 large carrot, diced
2 tsp salt
About 10 large mushrooms, minced or sliced
A handful or two of fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
3 Tbs minced garlic
1 tsp dried oregano or marjoram (or 1 Tbs fresh, if available)
2 to 3 stalks ruby chard, chopped (include stems, but keep them separate)
6 cups water
2 small (6-inch) zucchini, diced or sliced
½ cup (packed) minced fresh basil leaves
1 15 oz. can navy or pea beans, thoroughly rinsed and drained
3 medium-sized ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
Optional: tapenade, graced pecorino or parmesan cheese, slices of crisp toast

Heat 1 tablesppon of the olive oil in a soup pot or Dutch oven. Add the onion, celery, carrot, and ½ teaspoon salt, and sauté over medium heat for about 5 minutes.

Stir in the mushrooms, green beans, garlic, oregano or mrjoram, and another ½ teaspoon salt. Sauté for a few minutes more, then cover and cook over low heat for 15 minutes. Add the chard stems, and sauté again for a minute or two

Pour in the water and the remaining salt. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer. Cover and cook for 10 minutes.

Stir in the chard leaves, zucchini, basil, navy or pea beans, and tomatoes, and bring to a boil. Cover, remove from heat, and let the soup sit for about 10 minutes before serving.

Serve hot, topped with a spoonful of tepenade, some grated cheese, and slices of crisp toast on the side, if desired.

Yield: 6 servings

Source: Mollie Katzen's Vegetable Heaven: Over 200 Recipes for Uncommon Soups, Tasty Bites, Side Dishes, and Too Many Desserts

1 comment:

  1. This is one of my favorite recipes! I often make it with black Italian kale in place of the chard and add minced kalamata olives directly to the soup in place of the tapenade. A bit of feta along with the parmesan makes it extra yummy.

    Best wishes,


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