Livorno Style Minestrone with Cannellini and Bread

1 pound cannellini or great northern beans
3 clove garlic, 1 whole, 2 finely chopped
5 tablespoons olive oil
4 carrots, chopped
3 ribs celery, chopped
1 large red onion, chopped
1/2 pound Savory cabbage, shredded
1/2 pound zucchini, chopped
1/4 pound green beans, cut into 1-inch peices
1 medium Yukon gold potato, peeled and chopped
1 pound cannel whole peeled tomtoaes, seeded and chopped, with their juice
8 green Swiss chard leaves, rinsed, stemmed, and chopped
8 leaves basil
8 leaves flat-leaf parsley, chopped
salt and pepper
1 pound stale country bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
grated parmigiano for serving


Soak beans 8 hours or more. Drain and rinse.

Combine beans with whole clove of garlic, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and 8 cups cold water in large saucepan over medium high heat. When water boils, lower heat and simmer, uncovered, about 1 hour until the beans are tender. drain and reserve bean water. Transfer half the beans to a food processor and process until smooth. Set aside.

Meanwhile, heat the remaining 4 tablespoons olive oil in a heavy 6 quart soup pot or casserole over medium heat. Add the carrots, celery, onion, and the chopped garlic and cook about 3 minutes, until the vegetables begin to soften. Add the cabbage, zucchini, green beans, potato, tomatoes and juices, and all the beans and stir well. Stir in chard and 6 cups of bean cooking water. If there isn’t enough bean water, add plain water or broth. Place pot over medium high heat and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, partially covered, about 45 minutes. Stir in the basil and parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the bread, stir to combine, and turn off the heat. Let the soup stand, covered, for 15 minutes. Serve with parmigiano.
from Fagioli.