Midwinter Minestrone

  • Rating ****

4 servings


  • 2 tablespoons EVOO (extra-virgin olive oil)
  • 1/4 pound slice pancetta, cut into 1/4-inch dice (optional)
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped into 1/4-inch dice
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped into 1/4-inch dice
  • 2 bay leaves, fresh or dried
  • 3 to 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped or grated
  • 1 large or 2 medium red onions, chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 ounce dried porcini or mixed wild mushrooms, chopped
  • 1/2 cup soft sun-dried tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 1 quart chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 small bunch of purple or green kale, washed and dried
  • 1 cup semolina or whole-wheat ditafini or other short cut pasta
  • One 15-ounce can chickpeas
  • Pecorino Romano, grated or shredded, to pass at the table


Place a heavy-bottomed soup pot over medium-high heat with the EVOO. Add the pancetta to the pot (if using) and cook until crispy, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the carrots, celery, bay leaves, garlic and onions to the pot, season with salt and pepper and cook until the veggies are tender, 7 to 8 minutes more.

Add the mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes, stock and 2 cups water to the pot, and bring up to a boil.

Hold the kale by the stems and curl up your opposite hand around the greens at the base of the stem. With a quick jerking motion strip the greens off and away from the stems and chop the greens.

Add the kale, pasta and chickpeas to the soup pot, and cook until the pasta is al dente.

Season the soup with salt and pepper to taste. Discard the bay leaves.

Ladle the soup into shallow bowls, top with the Pecorino Romano and serve.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Random House. All rights reserved.

RecID 11469

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