Winter minestrone

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November 14, 2013 by dgarnett2013

Winter minestrone: River Cafe Cook Book (blue) by Rose Gray and Ruth Rogers


Serves 10


  • 4 tabs olive oil
  • 5 medium carrots, roughly chopped
  • 3 medium red onions, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 2 heads celery, coarsely chopped, keeping the leaves
  • 2 heads garlic, cloves peeled
  • 2kg Swiss chard, leaves shredded and stalks roughly chopped
  • small bunch parsely, finely chopped
  • 2 x 400g tins peeled plum tomatoes
  • 2kg cavolo nero, stalks removed, leaves shredded
  • 250g cannellini beans, cooked
  • 1 litre chicken stock or water – hot
  • sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • a few sprigs of winter herbs such as thyme or sage, chopped
  • Parmesan, freshly grated
  • extra virgin olive oil


For the soffritto heat the olive oil in a large saucepan and slowly fry the carrot, onion and celery until soft and dark. This will take a long time.


Add the garlic, chard stalks, and half the parsley and continue to cook stirring to prevent sticking.

Add the tomatoes and cook for 10 mins or until they have reduced.


Add half the Swiss chard leaves and half the cavolo nero, three quarters of the cooked beans, and the boiling chicken stock or water. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 30 mins. Add more stock if needed, but resist the temptation to add too much; this should be a thick soup.

Add the remaining Swiss chard and cavolo nero to the soup and blanch briefly so that they are cooked but remain green and crisp as a contrast to the rest of the soup. Season with salt and pepper, preferably when slightly cooled.

Puree the remaining cannelloni beans coarsely in a blender, with some of the cooking liquid. Add to the soup. This soup should be very green. Stir in the herbs and serve hot with Parmesan and extra virgin olive oil.

Made when Evie was over for a playdate

roseevie2 roseevie1

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