Sunday, May 2

Soup on Sunday: Michael Leva's Spring Green Minestrone with Pistou

For today’s Soup on Sunday, not only do I have a wonderful recipe to share, but also a fabulous book to recommend.

The uber talented Michael Leva, J. Jill senior vice president of design, has authored his first entertaining book, Recipes for Parties, with friend and textile genius Nancy Parker. I was thrilled when Michael recently sent me his grandmother’s minestrone recipe. Michael fondly recalls that even though his grandmother was Italian she used the French pronunciation of pistou over pesto given her “northern patrician” upbringing.

Michael is so wonderful that he even prepared and photographed the soup yesterday for this blog post! Thank you Michael. I am so honored that I will be a guest at Michael’s book launch and celebratory dinner in New York later this week. I will follow up on the book with more photos after the party. Enjoy the soup!

4 qts. water
1 1/2 lbs. chicken parts (preferably white and dark meat with bones in)
1 1/2 lbs. sliced prosciutto
(for a quick soup, substitute good quality free range chicken broth)

2 cups each potato and celery in 1/4" dice
3 small zucchini, sliced in 1/8" rounds
1 1/2 cups finely sliced leeks thoroughly washed
1/2 lb. each white and green asparagus sliced into 1/2 bias pieces
1 cup freshly shelled and peeled fava beans
1 cup freshly shelled or frozen peas
3 cups finely shredded savoy cabbage
1/2 cup orzo cooked al dente
sea sat and fresh ground white pepper
1 cup basil pistou (pesto), preferably homemade

In large soup pot combine water, chicken and prosciutto; set on high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 2 hours. Strain stock and set aside; discard prosciutto and chicken bones; reserve cooked chicken for another use.

Return stock to pot and bring to a boil. Add potatoes and reduce heat, cover and simmer for 8 minutes. Remove cover; add celery, zucchini, and leeks, simmer uncovered for 5 min. Stir in asparagus, favas, peas and cabbage and cook uncovered 5 minutes more. Add cooked orzo and salt and pepper to taste. Ladle into bowls and spoon in a dollop of pesto. Serve immediately.

Serves 6


Anne said...

Yum!!! And a new book for the list.

Jane said...

Minestrone and Pesto. Two things I love. I will be making this.

sophiedahydesigns said...

Another wonderful soup to try!! Thanks, Ronda!

Alexandra Rae said...

That has me drooling. I think I'm going to make it as soon as I'm through my blogs!

I'm so inspired by the fact that a Sr. VP of design just published an entertaining book! And with a textile genius friend. We creative types wear many hats, and just when I hear the chorus crying again for me to focus on one area, I'm reminded that style, art and design permeate every aspect of our lives. And those of us who can bring it, can bring it to them all :)

Jay said...

Yum is right and I so agree with Alexandra. Yeah for Michael. Ronda you always have the best!

The-Countrypolitan said...

Since Pesto is one of my basic food groups... I will definitely give this recipe a try... Thanks!


Sally@DivineDistractions said...

I love entertaining books almost as much as I love design books, so I'm eager to pour through this one. The soup looks so good and healthy too. Thanks, Ronda, for sharing and for the introduction to Michaels's work.

mary said...

This sounds fantastic. So glad that you are back to "Soup on Sunday"--this one is definitely going into my file. Have a great trip.

Shani said...

Yum! I love when creative minds share recipes. Fantastic!

felicia said...

I will defininely try it!
You have a lovely blog,interior styling has always been an escape for me.When I lived in London I found a lovely bookshop at Design Centre Chelsea Harbour where one can find a variety in books on interiors, design, furnishings and gardens.Worth visiting!

Mari Robeson said...

This recipe and book look fantastic. Glad I found you!

Julie Anne Rhodes said...

The rule I devised for deterring my cookbook buying binges just went out the window. Oh well, at least I will have a yummy dinner.