Minestrone in Istria is prepared with pulses, cured meat and vegetables. This spring version is added with vegetables – peas, Swiss-chard and fennel. Thickness will be achieved with added bacon, garlic and parsley, by finely chopping them into a paste and adding them at the beginning of cooking so that the bacon is overboiled. Excellent invigoration with home-made bread, and tastes will be imbued more if prepared a day earlier.
100 g (3.53 oz) beans
350 g (12.34 oz) cured beef tongue
120 g (4.23 oz) cured bacon
2 cloves garlic
1 sprig parsley
150 g (5.30 oz) fresh peas
300 g (10.58 oz) fennel
250 g (8.82 oz) Swiss-chard
Soak the beans in water overnight. Strain and add cured tongue. Pour water so to cover the ingredients, boil for 15 minutes and strain again.
Add water, and when it boils add the paste of finely chopped bacon, garlic and parsley) and bay leaf. Add salt and pepper.
When the beans are nearly done, add peas and boil for 15 minutes. Then add fennel, and in 10 minutes roughly cut Swiss-chard. Boils it all together for about 30 minutes.
Remove the boiled tongue and skin, cut in slices and return into the soup.
Serve warm with home-made bread.