bean soup with swiss chard
3 Tbsp  virgin olive oil
1 lb.  yellow onions (about 4 medium)
2   long ribs celery, with leaves if possible, strings removed, diced
1 small  carrot, diced
2 clove  garlic, green germ removed, diced
1-1/2 lb.  swiss chard leaves, stems trimmed, rinsed, and coarsely
1 lb.  dried cannellini beans
1/4 cup  nunzio's tomato sauce
2 small  dried bird's-eye peppers, crushed, or 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed
  red pepper flakes
  fine sea salt
1 medium  red onion, sliced paper-thin
begin by preparing the beans. pick over the beans, removing any pebbles or 
other debris. place the beans in a heavy saucepan and add water to cover 
by two inches. bring to a boil; remove from the heat, and let sit, covered 
for 1 hour. drain, return the beans to the saucepan, and add fresh water 
to cover by 3 inches. bring to a boil over medium high heat, reduce the 
heat so the beans are simmering, and cook, partially covered until they 
are al dente, tender but slightly firm, about 45 minutes. drain the beans 
so they do not get overly soft, reserving the cooking liquid. heat the oil 
in a heavy soup pot over medium heat and add the diced onions, celery, 
carrot, and garlic. cook, stirring, onions are golden and translucent and 
the celery is tender, about 20 minutes. add the chard, stir, cover, and 
cook, until it has softened, about 15 minutes. 
add the beans with their cooking liquid and enough water just to cover the 
vegetables. add the tomato sauce and peppers and stir. season lightly with 
salt, cover, and bring to a boil, raising the heat if necessary. reduce 
the heat so the liquid is boiling gently and cook, partially covered until 
the vegetables are soft but the beans aren't mushy, about 45 minutes. 
adjust the seasoning and serve with the red onion slices alongside for 
dinners to add to the steaming soup if they prefer. 
(ID: 77431) Mirror: Sat, Jan 31, 2004

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