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Winter Vegetable Minestrone with Cannellini Beans and Farro

Recipe and photo courtesy of Viviane Bauquet Farre of food & style

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INGREDIENTS

For the soup

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion – skinned and cut in 1/4” cubes
  • ¼-½ tsp. red chili pepper flakes to taste
  • 1 small bunch Tuscan kale or regular kale (8 oz.) – leaves removed from stems and sliced in 1/2” pieces
  • 4 large garlic cloves – skinned and finely chopped
  • 1–28 oz. can plum tomatoes – coarsely puréed (use a food processor)
  • 2 medium carrots – peeled and cut in ¼-inch cubes
  • 1 large Yukon Gold or white potato (8oz.) – peeled and cut in ¼-inch cubes
  • 1/3 cup farro (or pearled barley)
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 6 cups spring water
  • 1 fresh herb bundle (12 thyme sprigs, 6 Italian parsley sprigs, 1 sprig rosemary and 1 bay leaf) – tied firmly with kitchen string
  • 1-1/4 tsp. sea salt or to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 cups cooked cannellini beans (or canned beans)
  • 2 tsp. aged balsamic vinegar

For pan-fried rosemary infused oil

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbs. finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • For garnishes
  • Pan-fried rosemary infused oil
  • Freshly grated aged Asiago (or Reggiano Parmesan)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Heat a large heavy-bottomed soup pot at medium-high heat. Add olive oil, onions and pepper flakes and sauté for 6-7 minutes until golden, stirring from time to time. Add kale and garlic and sauté for an additional 2 minutes until kale has wilted. Add tomatoes, carrots, potato, farro, stock, water, herb bundle, salt and pepper. Stir well and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Add beans, stir again, cover pot and continue to simmer for 5 minutes. Discard herb bundle. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed and add the vinegar. Stir again and remove from heat.
  2.  To make rosemary-infused oil: Heat a small heavy-bottomed frying pan to medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and the rosemary. Stir well and sauté for 1-2 minutes until rosemary becomes dark green and crisp, stirring from time to time. Transfer to a small bowl and quickly add the balance of the olive oil. Set aside and let stand at room temperature for 1 hour. Use the infused oil right away or refrigerate it for up to 1 week. Bring to room temperature before serving.
  3. Ladle the soup into bowls. Drizzle with the rosemary infused oil, sprinkle with the grated cheese and serve immediately.

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