Summer minestrone with parsley pistou

Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Yields Serves 6 to 8
Summer minestrone with parsley pistou

Heat one-fourth cup of the oil in a large pot over high heat until hot. Add the onion, and reduce the heat to medium. Saut? the onion until it begins to brown around the edges, about 5 minutes. Stir in the fennel and continue to saute until the fennel is tender and just begins to brown around the edges, about 5 more minutes. Stir in 2 cloves of the minced garlic during the last minute of sauteing.


Add the tomatoes and 6 cups water. Stir in the cheese rinds, 2 teaspoons of the salt and one-fourth teaspoon pepper. Bring the soup to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and then cover and simmer 20 minutes.


While the soup is cooking, prepare the pistou. Puree the parsley and the remaining minced garlic cloves in a food processor. Add the remaining one-fourth teaspoon salt and a pinch of pepper. With the motor running, drizzle in the remaining olive oil until emulsified. Set aside.


Add the squash and the beans to the pot, and continue to simmer until the beans are just cooked, about 10 minutes. Remove the Parmesan rinds from the soup, and stir in the cooked pasta. Ladle the soup into large flat bowls. Spoon a dollop of pistou onto each serving. Serve immediately.

From test kitchen director Donna Deane. Save the rinds from Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese to add to the soup pot. It gives added flavor and substance to this vegetarian soup.

Betty Hallock was the deputy Food editor, covering all things food and drink for the Saturday section and Daily Dish blog. She started at The Times in 2001 in the Business section and previously worked on the National desk at the Wall Street Journal in New York. She’s a graduate of UCLA and New York University.
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