RECIPE

Rachael’s White Minestrone

This recipe originally appeared on the Rachael Ray Show. For more recipes and videos from the show visit RachaelRayShow.com.

This healthy, vegetarian “souper soup” is also super-satisfying and easy to make.

“We love this soup as is,” says Rach, “but if you want to add more ‘comfort’ to your meal, serve with garlic-rubbed charred bread with olive oil or cheesy garlic butter toast, or stir in 12 ounces gnocchi or ¾ cup ditalini pasta to cook in soup just before serving. If you add pasta or gnocchi, reduce beans in soup by half, dry or canned.

PRO TIP: If making white beans from dried, soak 1 cup of beans overnight and cover beans by 2 to 3 inches of water in bowl. Rinse beans and place in pot and cover with 3 inches water, bring to boil, add salt, 1 halved onion, and 2 bay leaves; cook to just tender, 30 to 40 minutes, skimming byproduct as it floats to top.

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, EVOO
  • 3 ribs celery, with leafy tops, chopped
  • 1 bulb fennel, quartered, cored and chopped
  • 2 medium leeks, trimmed of dark tops and root ends, halved lengthwise, washed, dried and sliced 1/4-to 1/2-inch
  • 2 parsley roots or parsnips, peeled and chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, sliced or chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • Bundle of herbs: thyme, sage, parsley stems or tops from root and fennel fronds
  • 1 chunk of rind from Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 2 quarts chicken stock, or vegetable stock
  • 1 head escarole, cleaned and chopped or shredded 1-inch slices
  • A few grates of nutmeg
  • 2 cans cannellini beans, drained a bit (if not preparing dried beans)
  • 12 ounces gnocchi, optional
  • 1/2 cup ditalini pasta, optional
  • 1 lemon, grated cheese to pass, and charred bread rubbed with garlic, EVOO and flaky salt, to serve

Preparation

Heat soup pot over medium-high heat, add EVOO, 3 turns of the pan. Add celery, fennel, leeks, parsley root or parsnip, garlic, salt and pepper, herb bundle and rind. Sweat vegetables with lid slightly ajar 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the stock. Bring soup to boil and wilt in the greens and season with a few grates of nutmeg to taste. Add beans, cooked or drained and canned, and simmer to combine flavors 15 minutes; if using, add gnocchi or pasta. Cook until gnocchi floats or pasta is cooked to al dente.

Add water to soup, as needed, 1 to 2 cups if too thick.

To serve, add lemon juice to soup and remove herb bundle and rind. Serve soup in shallow bowls with cheese and pass charred bread.

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