The Food of Fall

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It’s always interesting how the change in seasons brings a change in food. The cravings for comfort and heartiness come in full swing with the first touch of cool in the air. It brings opportunities to return to some great classics, like this

Northern Minestrone

50gr speck or pancetta diced

1tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 piece of Parmigiano rind, waxy side scrubbed with the back of a knife (optional)

1 sweet onion, diced

1 large carrot, diced

1 large celery stalk, diced

1 small leek, white and light green part only, diced

2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced

3-4 canned plum tomatoes, seeded and diced

600gr mixed vegetables of choice (zucchini, green beans, squash, parsnip), diced

500gr leafy vegetables such as Swiss chard leaves, shredded, stems peeled and diced

200gr borlotti beans, or chickpeas

Coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

To serve

Basil leaves, torn

Grated Parmigiano

Extra virgin olive oil


In a Dutch oven or stockpot set over medium-high heat, cook the speck (pancetta) in olive oil until crispy.

Add the Parmigiano rind and vegetables excluding the leafy vegetables. Add cold water to cover the vegetables by 2 inches. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for about 1 hour or the vegetables are tender .After 45 minutes of cooking. Stir in salt and pepper to taste as well as the leafy vegetables. Remove the Parmigiano rind.Add the basil and stir.

Serve with a sprinkle of Parmigiano and a drizzle of oil. Serves 4-6.