Da Nino

 

Ligurian Vegetable Soup
from Food & Wine, March 1990

Don't cut the vegetables too small since the finished soup should have a chunky look. If you're lucky enough to find ripe, fresh tomatoes, use the same volume - peeled, seeded and chopped - as canned.

8 to 10 servings

1 large onion, coarsely chopped
2 celery ribs, coarsely chopped
2 medium carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 pound savoy or green cabbage, coarsely shredded or chopped
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 cups coarsely shredded romaine lettuce or escarole
3 medium potatoes (about 1 pound), peeled and cut into 1/2 inch dice
1 1/4 cups drained plum tomatoes from a 35-ounce can, coarsely chopped
4 cups vegetable broth (at right) or canned low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup fresh shelled or frozen peas
1/3 cup minced flat leafed parsley
2 garlic cloves, minced
8 to 10 slices Itlaian bread, toasted
Freshly grated parmesan cheese

1. In a large saucepan, cook the onion, celery and carrots in the olive oil over moderate heat until they are softened, about 10 minutes. Add the cabbage, salt and pepper and cook, stirring, until the cabbage is wilted, about 3 minutes. Add the lettuce and cook until wilted, about 1 minute. Stir in the potatoes and tomatoes and cook for another 3 minutes. Increase the heat to moderately high, add the Vegetable Broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to moderately low, coverand simmer for 30 minutes. Add the peas and cook for 5 minutes, covered. Combine the parsley and garlic and stir into the soup; cook for 5 minutes.
2. Place a piece of toasted bread in each soup bowl. Ladle the hot soup on top and serve with a light sprinkling of the chees. Serve immediately.