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|Recipe contributed by Lenore Chicka
- 1/2 C. flageolets (dried haricot beans)
- 1/4 C. chick peas
- 1/4 C. brown lentils
- 1/2 lb. pork rind
- 1 ham bone or pig's trotter
- 1 pig's ear
- 1/4 C. olive oil
- 1/4 C. finely chopped fat salt pork
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 2-3 sprigs parsley, finely chopped
- 2 carrots, diced
- 4 large ripe tomatoes
- l bulb fininel, finely chopped
- 1 C. fresh lima (broad) beans
- 2 C. shelled green peas
- 4-5 leaves marjoram
- 1/4 lb fresh spinach, cut in ribbons
- 1/2 lb short thick noodles - optional
- Grated Parmesan or Pecorino
- Salt and pepper to taste
|Soak the dried vegetables in water overnight. The following day, half-cook them in unsalted water. In another pan boil the pork rind, ham bone or trotter and pig's ear in salted water for about 2 hours. When the meat is tender, drain and cut into small pieces.
Heat the oil and fat salt pork in the pan in which the soup is to be made, and sauté the garlic, parsley and carrots until the garlic is golden but not brown and the carrot has softened. Add the tomatoes, the dried vegetables, drained, and all the remaining fresh vegetables and herbs, except the spinach. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper, and cover with about 12 cups of water. Bring to boil and simmer gently for 1 hour. Add the spinach and the meat, and cook until the spinach is soft.
Noodles may be added if an even thicker minestrone is preferred, but as always, care must be taken not to overcook them.
Serve hot or cold, sprinkled generously with grated Parmesan or Pecorino (serves 6 to 8)
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