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Italian Vegetable Stew

Calling all veggie lovers -- this stew is for you!  Packed with a huge variety of veggies makes this a vegetarian dream.  The addition of sourdough bread adds some extra heft to take this from soup to stew.

Inspired by Bon Appetit

And, YES, you can absolutely make this in your Instant Pot.

You'll still want to blanch and drain your greens separately, and then sauté the carrots and leeks in your Instant Pot insert.  Be sure to keep the sauté setting on LOW because I find it cooks much faster than on the stove.

You'll also want to have your tomatoes already crushed and waiting in a bowl, so you can add them as soon as the carrots and leeks are softened.  Then add the rest of the ingredients, and Pressure Cook on the "Soup" Setting.

Italian Vegetable Stew

Print Grocery List Print Recipe
Serves: 8 Total Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • ½ 1-lb. loaf sourdough bread, torn into 2” pieces (about 6 cups)
  • 1 bunch Swiss chard, leaves AND stems
  • 1 bunch Tuscan or other kale, center ribs and stems removed
  • Kosher salt
  • ½ cup olive oil, divided, plus more for serving
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled, finely chopped
  • 1 leek, white and pale-green parts only, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic cloves, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 28-oz. can whole peeled tomatoes, drained
  • 8 cups chicken stock (if you want to keep this vegetarian, use vegetable stock)
  • 1 rind of Parmesan (if you don't have this, no worries -- but if you've been saving your rinds, now is the time to use one!)
  • 3 15-oz. cans cannellini beans or kidney beans, rinsed
  • 4 sprigs thyme
  • 1 sprig oregano
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Shaved Parmesan (for serving)

Instructions

1

Scatter bread on a rimmed baking sheet in a single layer.

2

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, generously salt and add the Swiss chard and kale. Blanch them for about 3 minutes, and then remove with a spider or slotted spoon, and set them on a plate lined with paper towels. The goal is to drain as much water from the greens as possible. You can also place them in a clean dish towel and, over your sink, squeeze the towel to get the greens dry.

3

Heat ¼ cup oil in a large heavy pot or Dutch oven over medium heat.

4

Add carrots and leek; stir often until they soften, about 8–10 minutes.

5

Add garlic and red pepper flakes.

6

Cook, stirring until fragrant, about 1 minute.

7

Add tomatoes, gently, and carefully, crushing with your hands as you add them. Be sure to crush them directly over the pot.

8

Cook, stirring frequently, until liquid is evaporated about 10–15 minutes. Don't walk away and keep an eye, so the tomatoes don't start to burn. They should start to stick a bit on the bottom of the pan which will just add even more flavor to the soup.

9

Add broth, Parmesan rind, beans, thyme, oregano, bay leaf, and reserved greens; season with salt and pepper.

10

Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until flavors meld and soup thickens slightly. This should take about 40-50 minutes.

11

Discard herb sprigs and bay leaf.

12

When you're ready to serve, gently stir bread and ¼ cup oil into soup.

13

Divide among bowls, top with Parmesan, and drizzle with some additional olive oil.

Notes

For the bread: this is the perfect opportunity to use day old bread. Do Ahead: Soup can be made 2 days ahead. Let cool slightly; chill until cold. Cover and keep chilled. Reheat before continuing. Store bread airtight at room temperature.

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