Catholic Recipe: Vegetable Soup with Rice
Also Called: Minestrone di riso
St. Anthony was born in Cremona in Lombardy which is the busiest region in Italy. In medieval and Renaissance times the many towns, scattered over the countryside, were important banking and trading centers and spread the name of Lombards all over Europe.
In Lombardy a thick minestrone with rice is most often eaten in summer, served cold. The rice is only minimally cooked, as it continues to cook when poured into the soup bowls. If the soup is to be served hot, the rice is cooked for 16 - 25 minutes and the minestrone is then served immediately.
SOAK borlotti beans overnight in cold water to cover; drain. Combine bacon, onion and butter in a large saucepan and cook over medium heat until golden, stirring frequently.
ADD the celery, carrots, zucchini, red beans and potatoes, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, broth and green beans and bring to boil. Lower heat and simmer, covered, for 2 hours.
ADD rice and cook uncovered over high heat for 5 - 25 minutes.
Pour soup into bowls and stir 1 tablespoon Parmesan into each. Cool completely before serving.
Adapted from: Italy the Beautiful Cookbook Lorenza De'Medici Collins PublishersRecipe Source: Pasta Plus