Zucchini and Potato Minestra (Lidia Bastianich)
- Ready In:
- 10 cups hot chicken stock (or canned low sodium chicken broth)
- 1⁄2 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 large yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 3 cups)
- 2 small leeks, white parts only, trimmed, cleaned, and chopped (about 2 cups)
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and coarsely shredded (about 1 cup)
- 2 fresh bay leaves or 2 dried bay leaves
- fresh ground black pepper
- 1 lb small zucchini, cut into 1/2 inch cubes (about 3 cups)
- 1 cup arborio rice (or other short-grain Italian rice)
- 1⁄2 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
- 1⁄4 cup finely grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese
- Pour 1 cup hot stock over the dried porcini mushrooms in a small bowl; let stand until mushrooms are softened, about 20 minutes.
- Drain the porcini, straining the soaking liquid through a coffee filter or a sieve lined with a double thickness of cheesecloth.
- Pour the strained soaking liquid into the remaining stock.
- Rinse the soaked mushrooms thoroughly to remove any sand/grit.
- Drain the mushrooms well and chop them fine.
- Heat the olive oil in a deep, heavy 4-5 quart pot over medium heat.
- Add in the potatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until they begin to stick and are lightly browned, about 5 minutes.
- If necessary, adjust the heat level to prevent the bits of potato that stick from getting too dark.
- Stir in the leeks and carrots; season lightly with salt, and cook, stirring, until the leeks are softened, about 2-3 minutes.
- Pour in the hot stock and bay leaves; bring to a boil, scraping up the bits of potato that stick to the pot.
- Adjust the level of heat to a simmer and season the soup lightly with salt and pepper.
- Cover the pot and simmer 15 minutes.
- Stir in the zucchini, cover the pot, and continue cooking until the potatoes and zucchini are very tender, about 15 minutes.
- Stir in the rice; cook, stirring well, until the rice is al dente-tender, but still firm, about 14 minutes.
- Remove the bay leaves; stir the parsley into the soup; check seasonings and add salt/pepper if needed.
- Ladle the soup into warm bowls and sprinkle each with some of the grated cheese.
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