About this recipe:This is a special recipe, straight from my beloved mother's golden hands. She made it often in spring and summer and, if the weather was warm, she'd serve it lukewarm or cool. I remember that she even offered it to a crowd, at one of my sisters' wedding. Its texture, colors, fragrance, appearance...everything in this dish speaks of her.
1 bunch Swiss chard
1kg fresh borlotti beans, or mixed beans
3 or 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
2 carrots, peeled and sliced into rounds
grated zest of 1 lemon
3 waxy potatoes, sliced into cubes
2 courgettes, sliced into cubes
200g string beans cut in 3cm strips
2 leeks, sliced into rounds
1 package frozen petite peas
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
grated Parmigiano Reggiano™
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Wash the chard well and separate the leaves from the stalks. Coarsely chop the stalks and cut the leaves in thin strips along the short side. Shell the beans.
In a large pot, heat the olive oil slightly and add the onion, celery, carrots and chard stalks to soften. Add the lemon zest and cook for another 2-3 minutes until it releases its fragrance.
Add the potateos and all the other vegetables, except the chard leaves. Add the clove and a good handful of salt.
Barely cover with water and bring to a boil. Turn the heat to medium low and simmer for 20-25 minutes, until the vegetables are tender but still have their shape. Add the chard leaves, cover and let rest for 10 minutes.
Adjust salt and pepper, sprinkle with a bit of olive oil and serve with the pesto and Parmesan cheese on the side.
Using up your vegetables
If you have veggies languishing in the refrigerator, this is a good recipe to throw them in and not waste them.
This soup is even better after it's rested overnight.