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A fast, hearty, healthy, rich, and inexpensive main course is what this soup is all about. A little pancetta to set the stage for the quickly sautéed vegetables bolstered by a heart-happy hit of garlic. A big blustery can of Italian tomatoes added to chicken stock to create instant broth. Pasta and beans to fill your tummy. A few fresh leaves of spinach and a splash each of white wine and pesto to top it all off and make it so.
Winter Minestrone & Garlic Bruschetta (click link for recipe) comes out of Ina Garten’s most recent and seventh book, BAREFOOT CONTESSA : Foolproof — Recipes You Can Trust, published in 2012 by Clarkson Potter. Quentin Bacon did the stellar photographs. That’s right; this is a coffee table book even if you plan to cook from it. You can dream with this gorgeous tome while you sip a cup of tea early in the morning. Put it on the bedside table and then discuss menus with your partner over a glass of white wine at 11 p.m. Or drag it along to the JW Marriott in Denver’s Cherry Creek (my local escape) like I did. One of my favorite things about this book is the way the paper feels and the quintessential new-book aroma wafting upwards each time it’s opened. I am a book, a real book, fanatic. (I did make my living as a librarian, as well as a choral director. I even taught English a few years.) It’s not that I don’t read on the iPad — or even on Dave’s Kindle — I do. But I’m enamored of the senses provoked by books I can see, smell, hold, feel, touch, and even shelve. There. Continue reading “Ina Fridays – Soups, Salads, and Sides – Winter Minestrone and Garlic Bruschetta”