Fanesca (Spring Soup)

READY IN: 1hr 15mins
SERVES: 8-10




  • If using, soak cod fish in cold water to cover for 12 hours or more, changing water from time to time.
  • Drain and put in saucepan with fresh water to cover. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer until fish is tender, about 15 minutes. Drain fish, cut into 1/2 inch pieces and set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 375-400 degrees fahrenheit. Cut winter squash in half and place cut side down on a lightly sprayed cookie sheet. Bake for 45 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, cook rice according to package directions replacing half the water with milk (boil on very low heat about 20 minutes).
  • Meanwhile, cook beans and vegetables according to package directions. I used frozen corn, peas, lima beans and green beans combined in same casserole dish and microwaved for 8-9 minutes. The zucchini and cabbage I steamed together for 10 minutes. Combine.
  • Meanwhile, cook eggs until hard boiled (about 4 minutes) and set aside. Let cool, remove shell and slice.
  • When rice is done, add to bean mixture.
  • When winter squash is done, set aside and let cool slightly before scraping out flesh with a fork and mashing a bit. Add to beans and rice mixture. If you are making this ahead of time, place in refrigerator until ready.
  • Heat butter in large saucepan and saute the onions and garlic until the onions are soft, about 5 minutes, Add oregano, cumin, bay leaf and several grinds of black pepper and saute for a minute or two longer. Add 1 cup water, bring to a boil and add the next 11 ingredients (rice through milk) and fish, if using.
  • Stir to mix and simmer very gently for about 5 minutes to blend the flavors.
  • Add chopped cheese and salt to taste. The soup should be about as thick as a minestrone. If it seems too thick, thin it with a little more milk and simmer for a few minutes longer.
  • Garnish soup with sliced hardboiled eggs and serve with parmesan cheese.