*  Exported from  MasterCook  *
                      Zuppa Di Pane (Bread Soup) (Hl)
 Serving Size  : 6    Preparation Time :0:00
 Categories    : Soup-Ss                          Bean-ss
   Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
 --------  ------------  --------------------------------
    1      pound         dried cannellini beans
    3      quarts        water
    1 1/2  teaspoon      salt
      1/2  teaspoon      pepper
      1/4  cup           plus 3 tablespoons olive oil
    2      bunches       swiss chard
                         --or spinach leaves
    1      large         onion -- chopped
    3                    carrots -- diced small
    2                    celery stalks -- diced small
    1      tablespoon    tomato paste
    1                    loaf stale italian bread
                         --cut into 1/2-inch slices
    1      tablespoon    chopped fresh italian parsley
    1      tablespoon    chopped fresh basil
 Soak the beans overnight in a large bowl with enough water to cover by 2
 inches. Drain the beans and run them under cool water. Place the drained
 beans in a large pot with the he 3 quarts of water over high heat. Add the
 salt, 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper, and the 3 tablespoons of olive oil to the
 water; bring to a boil then lower the heat and cook the beans about 1 hour
 or until tender. Remove a third of the beans and reserve for garnish; leave
 the remaining beans in their cooking water.
 Remove the stems of the Swiss chard and finely julienne. Reserve the
 leaves. Add the Swiss chard stems, onion, carrots, celery, tomato paste and
 the remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper to the cooked beans. Bring to a boil and
 cover. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for about an hour or until
 the vegetables and beans are very tender.
 Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Slice the Italian
 bread and brush it with the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil. Place on a baking
 sheet and toast in the oven until golden brown.
 Remove the center rib from the reserved Swiss chard leaves and cut each
 leaf into eighths.
 When the soup is ready, ladle the hot mixture into the blender and puree.
 (It should have a thick, winter-soup consistency; if too thick, add some
 boiling water.) Mix in the parsley, basil, reserved beans and cut-up Swiss
 chard leaves. Adjust the seasoning to taste.
 Place 2 slices of toasted bread in each serving bowl, ladle the soup on top
 and serve immediately.
 Yield: 6 first course servings, or 4 as a main dish
 Nutritional information: Calories: 557, Fat: 15 grams.
 Recipe courtesy of Chef David Ruggerio and “Little Italy Cookbook”
 Formatted by Gail Shermeyer <4paws@netrax.net>.
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