Every Sunday, I try to go to our neighborhood farmers market. And, pretty much every Monday in the fall and winter months, there is a big pot of soup cooking on my stove made with all the seasonal produce I find there. Warm, comforting and full of nutrients, soup is exactly what our bodies need as the weather changes and flu season approaches. This cranberry minestrone is hearty and satisfying and makes the perfect lunch or light dinner. Cranberry beans, also known as borlotti beans, are beautiful and delicious with a nutty flavor and creamy texture. Since they are only available in late summer and early fall, right now is the perfect time to use them. Enjoy!
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 carrots, peeled and chopped into ½ inch pieces
- 3 stalks celery, chopped into ½ inch pieces
- 1 cup green beans chopped into ½ inch pieces
- 6-8 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped or one 15-ounce can whole tomatoes (crushed with hands or spoon)
- 4 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
- 1 parmesan rind
- 1 cup shelled cranberry beans
- 4 leaves curly kale, stem removed and roughly chopped
- parmesan for serving
- Heat olive oil in a large heavy soup pot over medium heat.
- Add the onion, garlic, carrots, celery and green beans and saute until soft, about 10 minutes.
- If using fresh tomatoes, blanch in boiling water to remove skin. Cut each tomato in half widthwise, gently squeeze out most of the seeds and roughly chop.
- Add tomatoes, chicken stock, parmesan rind, cranberry beans, salt, and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 30-40 minutes until beans are tender.
- Add kale and cook 5 more minutes.
- Remove parmesan rind and ladle into big bowls and top with freshly grated parmesan and a drizzle of olive oil.
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