Soup on Sunday: REPOST
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23 April 2017
By Ronda Carman
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Michael Leva's Spring Green Minestrone with Pistou

For today’s Soup on Sunday, not only do I have a wonderful recipe to share, but also a fabulous book to recommend.

The talented Michael Leva has authored his first entertaining book, Recipes for Parties, with friend and textile genius Nancy Parker. I was thrilled when Michael recently sent me his grandmother’s minestrone recipe. Michael fondly recalls that even though his grandmother was Italian she used the French pronunciation of pistou over pesto given her “northern patrician” upbringing. It's not only a beautiful soup, it's absolutely delicious 


4 qts. water
1 1/2 lbs. chicken parts (preferably white and dark meat with bones in)
1 1/2 lbs. sliced prosciutto
(for a quick soup, substitute good quality free range chicken broth)

2 cups each potato and celery in 1/4" dice
3 small zucchini, sliced in 1/8" rounds
1 1/2 cups finely sliced leeks thoroughly washed
1/2 lb. each white and green asparagus sliced into 1/2 bias pieces
1 cup freshly shelled and peeled fava beans
1 cup freshly shelled or frozen peas
3 cups finely shredded savoy cabbage
1/2 cup orzo cooked al dente
sea sat and fresh ground white pepper 
1 cup basil pistou (pesto), preferably homemade

In large soup pot combine water, chicken and prosciutto; set on high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 2 hours. Strain stock and set aside; discard prosciutto and chicken bones; reserve cooked chicken for another use.

Return stock to pot and bring to a boil. Add potatoes and reduce heat, cover and simmer for 8 minutes. Remove cover; add celery, zucchini, and leeks, simmer uncovered for 5 min. Stir in asparagus, favas, peas and cabbage and cook uncovered 5 minutes more. Add cooked orzo and salt and pepper to taste. Ladle into bowls and spoon in a dollop of pesto. Serve immediately. 

Serves 6

Photograph by Alex Lau