Umbrian Vegetable Soup (Zuppa di Verdure all’Agliata)
Unlike in a classic minestrone, the vegetables in this dish are cooked quickly to preserve their bright flavor.
Yield: serves 12
- 1⁄2 cup packed basil leaves
- 1⁄4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 2 tbsp. minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1⁄2 medium onion, cut into chunks
- 8 oz. red new potatoes, cut into 1⁄2" cubes
- 3 stalks celery, minced
- 2 medium carrots, minced
- 2 plum tomatoes, cored and minced
- Kosher salt, to taste
- 3 oz. spinach, trimmed and rinsed (about 2 loosely packed cups)
- 1 1⁄2 cups canned cannellini beans, rinsed
- 1 cup fresh or frozen green peas
- 1⁄2 small head frisee, leaves cut into bite-size pieces (about 2 cups)
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Freshly grated Grana Padano or parmesan, for serving
- Place half the basil, 2 tbsp. oil, parsley, garlic, and onions in the bowl of a food processor and process until slightly chunky. Heat remaining oil in an 8-qt. pot over medium-high heat and add herb-garlic mixture. Cook, stirring often, until no liquid remains, about 5 minutes. Add potatoes, celery, carrots, and tomatoes. Cook, stirring often, until vegetables are golden brown, about 6 minutes. Add salt and 4 cups water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes.
- Stir in spinach, beans, peas, and frisee and cook until greens are wilted and just tender, about 10 minutes; season with salt and pepper and stir in remaining basil. To serve, ladle soup into bowls, sprinkle with Grana Padano, and drizzle with oil.