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Ed Fretwell Soup Recipe

Molly's book, A Homemade Life is but a great read. Made even better by the many recipes included through out the book. A perfect vacation companion for any foody.

This recipes is from a neighbor - Ed Fretwell. Brought to the family in a time of need. I, personally, love bean-based soups. They are hearty, and healthy.

This recipe is adapted from A Homemade Life, by Molly Wizenberg (Simon & Schuster, 2009)

Ingredients:
1 pound of dried white beans - such as cannellini
1 large cloves of hardneck garlic - peeled and smashed
3 fresh sage leave
Water
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium yellow onions - finely chopped
4 stalks celery - finely chopped
8 medium carrots - sliced into thin rounds
2 medium zucchini - trimmed, halved lengthwise, sliced into 1/4-inch thick half-moons
4 cups chicken broth
3/4 pound Swiss Chard - stocks discarded and leaves coarsely chopped
3/4 pound green cabbage - trimmed and coarsely chopped
1 28-ounce can of whole peeled tomatoes, drained and chopped
1 tablespoon sea salt
Finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Directions:
1. Put the beans in a medium bowl, and cover them with cool water by at least one inch. Set aside at room temperature, uncovered, for 6 hours or overnight.

2. Drain the beans, and put them in a dutch oven or other large pot. Add the garlic, sage leaves, and 10 cups cold water. The beans should be covered with water by at least 1 inch. Place pot over high heat, and bring to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes, then reduce heat to a simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for about 1 hour. Skim away any brownish foam that rises to the surface.

3. While the beans cook, in a large (8 quart) pot, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions, celery, and carrots and cook, stirring frequently, for 10 - 15 minutes. Add the zucchini and broth, increase the heat to medium-high, and bring to a simmer. Add the Swiss Chard, cabbage and tomatoes. Cover and simmer gently, adjusting the heat as necessary for 1 hour.

4. After 1 hour, add the cooked beans and their cooking water, discarding the sage leaves. Add the salt and stir well. Simmer for another 30 to 60 minutes, stirring frequently, until the beans and vegetables are very tender and the broth has taken on a creamy pale orange hue. Taste and add salt if needed.

5. Serve with a hearty drizzle of olive oil over the top of each bowl and a dusting of Parmigiano-Reggiano.

serves 10 to 12
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