Mario Batali's Fresh and Healthy Recipes

Celebrity chef Mario Batali is best known for his 10 cookbooks -- including his most recent, Farm to Table - and his hosting stints on the Food Network's Molto Mario and ABC's The Chew. The James Beard Foundation named Batali "Best Chef: New York" in 2002 and "Outstanding Chef of the Year" in 2005.

Celebrity chef Mario Batali created this recipe with fresh vegetables from a local farmers' market in mind.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 lb dried borlotti or pinto beans
  • 1/2 lb dried cannellini or other white beans
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
  • 1 large red onion, cut into ¼-inch dice
  • 2 large carrots, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/2-inch half moons
  • 2 medium zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch rounds
  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole San Marzano tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch dice, juices reserved
  • 6 ribs celery, cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 1 bunch broccoli spigarello, cut into 1/4-inch ribbons
  • 2 potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 2 leeks, split, rinsed well, and cut into 1/4-inch half moons
  • 8 cups cool water
  • 1 pinch Kosher salt
  • 1 pinch freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 1/2 cup Pesto Genovese

Directions

Place the beans in separate bowls, add water to cover and set aside to soak overnight.

Drain the beans, combine them in a pot and cover with water.

Bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and cook for about 30 minutes, or until still quite al dente.

Set aside to cool in the cooking liquid.

In a large soup pot, heat the oil over medium heat until it shimmers.

Add the onion, carrots, zucchini, tomatoes, celery, spigarello, potatoes, and leeks and cook slowly, stirring frequently, for 20 minutes.

Drain the beans and add them to the pot with the cool water.

Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and cook for 11/2 hours, or until the beans are tender.

Season aggressively with salt and pepper.

Divide the soup among ten shallow soup bowls and top each with a spoonful of grated Parmigiano, a dollop of pesto, and a drizzle of good olive oil. Serves 10.

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