Thursday, December 9, 2010

Minestrone Soup

Oh boy it is definitely soup weather out there! Yesterday, Meteo France reported that one of its Paris weather stations had recorded 11cm (4.5 in) of snow in one afternoon which did not happen since 1987. It was really something, the heavy snow blanketed Paris and everything was peaceful and serene. In general, Paris does not get a lot of snow on a regular basis, which is why relatively small amounts of snow can cause the kind of disruption that only a meter or more would cause in countries like Canada. Sorry I can't share a nice view of Paris under the snow but only this view from my window. 

Luckily I was home, in my sweats, snuggled up on the couch in a blanket and watching the snow fall. That kind of weather makes me want to be a hermit, hunkering down in my warm apartment eating soup and drinking hot chocolate! Watching snow fall through the air is relaxing. As I looked out the window, everything was covered in a thick blanket of white. The trees were coated with heavy wet snow and snowflakes were falling fast.

Well, as you can see there is no pasta in my soup, but, they would definitely be a nice addition. What I really would have loved, had I had it around would have been to toss in some grated cheese. Well, next time. Because I have a sneaking suspicion that there will be many more soup days to come.

Ingredients (serves 4):
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 lb (450g) Swiss chard, stems trimmed, leaves coarsely chopped
1 russet potato, peeled, cubed
1 (14 1/2-oz) can diced tomatoes
1 fresh rosemary sprig
1 (15 oz - 425g) can cannellini beans, drained, rinsed
3 3/4 cups low-sodium beef broth
1 oz (30g) piece Parmesan cheese rind
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a heavy large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery, and garlic. Saute until the onion is translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the Swiss chard and potato; saute for 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and rosemary sprig. Simmer until the chard is wilted and the tomatoes break down, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, blend 3/4 cup of the beans with 1/4 cup of the broth in a processor until almost smooth. Add the pureed bean mixture, remaining broth, and Parmesan cheese rind to the vegetable mixture. Simmer until the potato pieces are tender, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. Stir in the whole beans and parsley. Simmer until the beans are heated through and the soup is thick, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Discard Parmesan rind and rosemary sprig (the leaves will have fallen off of the stem.)

Ladle the soup into bowls and serve.

Soupe Minestrone

Ingrédients (4 personnes):
2 càs d'huile d'olive
1 oignon, émincé
2 carottes, épluchées et coupées en cubes
2 branches de céleri, coupées en dés
2 gousses d'ail, hachées
450 g de blettes, les feuilles coupées
1 pomme de terre, épluchée et coupée en dés
1 boîte de tomates concassées
1 branche de romarin frais
une boîte de 425g d'haricots blancs cannellini, égouttés et lavés
1 litre de bouillon de bœuf
1 morceau (30g) de croûte de Parmesan
2 càs de persil haché
Sel et poivre, selon goût

Faites chauffer l'huile d'olive dans une grande marmite. Ajoutez l'oignon, les carottes, le celeri et l'ail. Faites les revenir à feu moyen 10 mn environ. Ajoutez les blettes et les pommes de terre, faites revenir 2 mn. Ajoutez les tomates et la branche de romarin. Laissez mijoter à feu doux 10 mn. 

Pendant ce temps, mixez 3/4 des haricots blancs and 1/4 tasse de bouillon pour les réduire en purée. Ajoutez le mélange, le reste du bouillon et la croûte de Parmesan à la marmite. Laissez mijoter jusqu'à ce que les pommes de terre soient tendres, environ 15 mn. Ajoutez les haricots blancs et le persil. Laissez 2 mn et assaisonnez de sel et de poivre. Retirez la croûte de Parmesan, et la branche de romarin.

Servez chaud.


  1. Lovely snowy weather. That is a deliciously comforting dish!



  2. Brrrr...that weather must feel cold, but what a warming pretty bowl of soup that is! Nothing like this, with crusty good bread! YUM!

  3. I adore ministrone soup and this one looks super hearty and comforting!

  4. A lovely, warming soup! Also perfect for this season of excess...something a little more nutritious :)

  5. I saw pictures of snow covered Paris roads on the news last night. I'll bet the city is beautiful despite the inconvenience. It's soup weather here too, Cherine.

  6. What beautiful photos. The soup would be perfect on a snowy day. I imagine that Paris looked beautiful behind a veil of white. Stay warm and enjoy that wonderful soup. Have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  7. Your soup looks great with the vegetables! That's just what I'd want during a snow storm.

  8. Your soup is beautiful ~ It looks so warm and flavorful.

  9. Oh, wow! I can't believe that's your view when you look out the window. France must be such a special place to live...
    This soup looks wonderful - perfect for a snowy day like this! Please post more pictures :)

  10. It looks like the area we used to live in, Melun, in the South East banlieue, of Paris. Nice to have snow once in a while and the minestrone is perfect for this! Nice clic.

  11. What a lovely picture of the snow falling! While we have been having some icy weather here, no snow. the soup looks perfect for what we are going through =)

  12. The snow is beautiful and so is this soup. It's cold and rainy here today and I wish I had a big bowl of this soup right now.

  13. Cherine, I just had minestrone last night (at a resto); it wasn't half as good as this one. Homemade is always best I guess!

  14. This is the absolutely perfect soup for a cold snowy night. You're a genius!

  15. Snowing.... What a nice feeling! Great bowl of soup to harm up the heart and soul!

  16. I love that your soup looks exactly like the one my Greek grandmother makes - I am sure it would taste just as delicious too!

  17. Yum, I love the addition of swiss chard! I'll definitely have to give this a try!

  18. Wow, you've created the perfect winter atmosphere with this post! Lovely. I love the pictures! :) Petra

  19. Looking at that house covered in snow, I feel lucky to have no snow in Vegas.This soup is certainly a necessity.Beautifully Captured.

  20. What a wonderful, warming bowl of soup! I love the beans and chard in the soup. We are expecting at least a foot of snow this weekend. Definitely soup weather. Stay warm!

  21. A nicely warm soup is exactly what I want for this cold snowy weather.

  22. It's soup weather here too with our snow. Looks delicious.

  23. Yummmmmm, I love minestrone soup it looks great pasta or not. I'm totally missing the snowy days. Here in California the weather is quite warm this week.

  24. Beautiful photos ! and the soup looks delicious.

  25. A great soup to warm the soul!

  26. Hi Cherine:)
    I did this yesterday and my husband loved it!! It was really good:)


  27. Hi May, glad he liked it :) Sahten!

  28. Man look at all that snow! Perfect day for some warm soup. =) Looks delicious!

  29. Beautiful picture of the snow bedecked house...that soup...I'm going to make it for dinner this evening.
    Keep Warm
    Shel from South Africa x

  30. Made this tonight after a day of pigging out on party food. Delicious and nutritious. Thanks for sharing

  31. @ Donna, glad you liked it!!
    Have a great day!

  32. Made this and it was amazing on a cold Canadian winter night!!
    Thanks, Jackie