Livornese vegetable soup

Yield: 10 servings

Measure Ingredient
325 grams Spinach; (11oz)
325 grams Swiss chard; (optional) (11oz)
1 Onion
1 Thick or 2 thin slices of prosciutto; (Parma ham), chopped
; crudo, finely
1 Streaky bacon or pancetta rashers; de-rinded and (1 to
2)
; chopped finely
3 Garlic cloves; chopped
A handful of fresh parsley; chopped finely
3 tablespoons Olive oil
2 Carrots; diced
2 Celery sticks; diced
2 Courgettes; diced
125 grams Peeled pumpkin; diced (4oz)
2 Large; ripe tomatoes,
; skinned, de-seeded
; and chopped
250 grams Pork belly or streaky pork rashers; diced finely (8oz)
1 432 gram can borlotti beans; drained (15oz)
300 grams Long-grain rice; (10oz)
Salt and pepper
Freshly grated parmesan cheese; to serve
1 Pig''s trotter or 2 Italian sausages; (optional)

If using the pig''s trotter or sausages, put them in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer gently until required.

Meanwhile, blanch the cabbage, spinach and chard, if using, in boiling water for about 3 minutes. Drain, reserving the water, cool them slightly, then chop coarsely.

Chop half the onion finely and mix with the prosciutto, bacon or pancetta, garlic, parsley and oil to make a smooth paste. Place in a very large, deep saucepan or flameproof casserole and fry gently for 3-4 minutes.

Combine the reserved vegetable cooking water with the pig''s trotter or sausage stock, if used, and make up to 2¾ litres (5 pints) with boiling water. Finely slice the remaining half onion. Add each vegetable in turn to the pan, alternately with the stock, until all the vegetables, except the beans, and the stock have been added. Add the pork belly, stir carefully and cook for 20 minutes.

If used, remove all the scraps of meat from the trotter, or remove the skin from the sausages and crumble them. Add the meat to the soup with the beans and simmer for a further 20 minutes. Add the rice and season with salt and pepper. Simmer slowly for a further 20 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent the soup sticking to the bottom of the pan. Serve the soup hot or leave to cool to room temperature before serving. Serve with plenty of freshly grated parmesan cheese. Converted by MC_Buster.

Converted by MM_Buster v2.0l.

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