Wednesday, September 20, 2006


I saw Rachel Ray, of Food Network's "30 minute meal" fame, make this italian soup last year, and she made it sound so delicious, I just had to try it. It is a family recipe, I believe she said was made in her home as she was growing up. She pronounced it "mi-nest". (short "i")

4-6 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1/8 pound pancetta, chopped fine
2 T olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large bunch escarole, washed and coarsely chopped
2 (14 oz) cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 QT chicken stock
A couple pinches ground nutmeg, or fresh grated nutmeg
Shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano, for topping
Warm, crusty bread, for mopping

In large, heavy pot over med. heat, saute garlic and pancetta in olive oil for 3 min. Add onions and cook 1-2 min longer
Add the greens and wilt down slightly. Add beans, broth, and nutmeg, s & p to taste.
Cook on moderate to high heat for 12 min., or until greens are no longer bitter. Serve with shaved cheese, bread, and good wine.

Here are my ingredients, just waiting for me! I did switch out the white Pinot Grigio here in the photo for an exemplary red wine:
(recommended by my butcher as a "fine' wine under $12)

Here is the pancetta (italian bacon), sauteed with the garlic.
May I tell you the smell is incredible?

Minestre is simmering, wilting down the escarole.
You will never know the sheer joy I had when seated in front of this steaming bowl of one of my all-time favorite soups. (the wine helps!)
After I prepared this last year, Ave and I were smitten. We simply could NOT stop eating this soup.
The beans, mixed with the bitter greens and the garlic, makes for....well, you know what.
Suffice it to say, we did not venture out for approximately 24 hours.
If you know what I mean.

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cityfarmer said...

Pass me a bowl please, and a tumbler...if ya know what I mean.

Soon you'll be needing your own program on the food channel...let's see... we shall call the program..."Beans, Baubbles and Bowls."

homemakerang said...

i think i know what you mean. do you know what I mean? are you stealing my phrase "do you know what I mean?" :)

Aunt Jenny said...

Looks and sounds wonderful!! I love Rachel Ray's shows!!!
My kind of soup too..if you know what I mean!

Wildside Musing said...

It just looks so good...

monique said...

It jusat looks wonderful, so tasty!

kansasrose said...

Cyn, You are just too cute sitting there in your 50's style cardigan and brooch ( which I adore) eating that fabulous soup! I am making this for the weekend by the way!

FarmgirlCyn said...

You guys are too funny, cause up close, this soup ain't pretty! But, it is delicious!
PS I wear a LOT of vintage...mostly stuff from the Goodwill, but the "jewels" are usually from tag sales. I LOVE "grandmaw" sales!

kpjara said...

Oh the perils and praise of Garlic...I know all too well from my husband's many concoctions!

I love all your recipes. I'm definitely going to try this one.

I'm with cityfarmer...a program on the Food Network...You really need to compete with that program!

Amanda said...

Wow, that looks amazing! Seriously, you live so close I think I need to come for a cooking lesson. I can cook, but not like this. How amazing!! Soup is PERFECT for this season...

Lindsey said...

Shame you can't pass the bowl through the internet for us to try! It looks very yummy :)

Rosa said...

That's my kind of recipe! Easy and simple yet good! Love your glasses girl!!

Lori said...

I can smell it from here! It does look delicious. Thanks for sharing this.

homemakersheart said...

I learned a bean tip about a year ago I'd like to share. Open the can, rinse them well and add the beans to your recipe. If you need the juice, just add a bit more water. It's the juice in the can (or after the first soaking) that causes the, umm, yep that aroma! LOL!

Mindy said...

This soup sounds great! MAy have to try it this Fall! I love the sweater you have on, very chic my friend!
Blessings to you