Summer Minestrone

23 July

This makes a Vat of soup! It’s summer’s bounty we are cooking with here, so the soup cooks in a bit less then an hour. That’s enough time for the flavors to blend, but each vegetable will still taste like itself. You can serve the soup hot or at room temperature. Leftovers can be warmed gently.

4 onions, sliced THINLY
1/4 cup olive oil
3-4 cups halved sungold tomatoes
3 ears corn, kernels cut off
1 pound summer squash, cut into thin half-moon slices
1 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 1/3-inch lengths
1 bunch Swiss chard, stems removed and leaves cut into very fine strips
1 can cannellini beans
1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leafed parsley
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup arborio rice or brown rice
8 cups cool water
olive oil and freshly grated Pecorino, for the table

1. Take out your biggest soup pot, add the onions and oil, and place over medium heat. Cool until the onions start to soften and are becoming translucent. Add the vegetables and herbs, pour in the water , and bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat, cover the pot, and cook the soup at a lively simmer for 30 minutes.
2. Add the salt – don’t be too stingy – and some pepper and stir in the rice. Cook for another 15-20 minutes (longer for brown rice, about 30 minutes), until the rice is tender. Taste the soup again to make sure you have seasoned it well. You can serve it now or leave it on the stove for a few hours.
3. Have a cruet of olive oil on the table so each serving can get a drizzle. And pass the Pecorino. Enjoy!

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