That's not an outrageous amount of time, but we glossed over the instructions and then didn't end up eating until 9:30 p.m.
It's worth it, though. This is a seriously filling soup, with big wads of Swiss chard, cabbage, and escarole in addition to the tomatoes, white beans, carrots, and onions.
We did make a few adjustments:
• We used bacon instead of pancetta, because we had some bacon that needed to be used. Our finished soup had a very pronounced bacon flavor, which was fine, but it teetered on overpowering. We might cut back next time.
• We used regular green cabbage instead of Savoy. Worked fine.
• The list of ingredients calls for 1 quart of water, but in the instructions, it reads, "Add hot water (3 qt)," which is confusing. Which is it? We split the difference and added 2 quarts. Three probably wouldn't have fit in our pot anyway, and two was plenty to hold all of the chunky ingredients.
• We did cook some pasta to serve in the soup, and we kept it separate so it wouldn't get soggy in the leftovers. We just add a bit as we warm up a bowl.
Want the recipe? Here you go:
• Winter Minestrone, from Gourmet
It makes a lot, but it's great left over.
(Image: Elizabeth Passarella)