"A pot of minestrone on the stove: you're home." - Frances Mayes

Makes 12 serving


3 yellow onions, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
3 celery stalks with leaves, chopped
¼ cup (60 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
1 bunch of red or green chard, including stems, chopped very well
1 handful of flat leaf parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon (6 g) fresh thyme leaves or 1½ teaspoons (3 g) dried thyme
1 cup (240 ml) white or red wine
8 cups (1.9 L) chicken stock
8 tomatoes or 1-28 ounce (784 g) canned whole tomatoes, chopped
3 tablespoons (45 g) tomato paste
1 cup (246 g) oven-roasted tomatoes (recipe below) or an additional cup of chopped fresh tomatoes
Heel of a wedge of Parmigiano-Reggiano
3 potatoes, peeled, cubed and steamed
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup (90 g) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano


In a large stockpot over medium heat, sauté the onions, carrots, and celery in the olive oil for 5-7 minutes, or until almost done. Add the chard, parsley, and thyme and mix. Pour in the wine and stock, and stir in the chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, and oven roasted tomatoes.

Bring to a near boil. Throw in the heel of Parmigiano, cover the pot, and then reduce the heat to low so the soup barely bubbles for 45 minutes.

Give it an occasional stir. Add the potatoes and remove from the heat.

Season to taste.

Pass the grated Parmigiano at the table.

* Recipe taken from Frances and Edward Mayes' book, "The Tuscan Sun Cookbook", Clarkson Potter/Publishers