About Beth

Beth, along with her husband, Mike, is co-owner of two Italian Deli/Markets in St. Louis - Viviano’s Festa Italiano. When not creating yummy new menu items for the deli, she’s the pediatric research lab supervisor at Washington University School of Medicine. Read more out about Viviano’s Festa Italiano.

About Irene

Irene loves to think, read and dream about food. She enjoys cooking & eating in general. Although she demures about her talents, Irene has a finely-tuned palate that her friends envy. She bakes on occasion. The rest of the time she's creating memories with her family and friends. . . or she's learning a new needlecraft technique.

About Deborah

Deborah is a wife, mother, grandmother, traveler, bootlegger, and a very poor speller! As Victor Hazan so eloquently puts it, Deborah has chosen Umbria to be the home of her soul. When she can’t be there in body, she spends her free time cooking & reading about Italy. She blogs mostly about food and about trips – past and future – here: Old Shoes New Trip.

About Doug

Doug lives in Eastern Ontario in a farmhouse built in 1903. He is a retired teacher with four adult children, a wife, a son-in-law, two Irish step-grandchildren and one grandson who he is lucky to hang with a lot. He has way too many books. Doug also blogs at To Slow Time Down.

About Cindy

Cindy lives in Eagle River, Alaska where her freezer is always full of salmon, halibut & shrimp. Cindy participates in several regular cooking challenges. You can read more about her cooking and life in the last frontier on her blog, Baked Alaska.

About Sandi

Sandi is a true Southerner, but a traveler & Italian cook at heart. She lives in Alabama and knows more about fried green tomatoes than fricassees. Her family owned the WhistleStop Café for many years. Sandi also blogs at Whistlestop Cafe Cooking.

About Jan

Jan, a serious home cook, has owned “Essentials” since 1992. She is passionate about all things Italian, especially the cuisine & the language. Jan blogs about her travels (next trip Italy May/June of 2010) at: Keep your Feet in the Street.

About Jerry

Jerry is a food obsessed Canadian. He learned to love Italian food as a child while eating the meals prepared by his Napolitano uncle. He learned to cook Italian foods by watching his uncle cook these feasts for the family. This love of Italian food has been honed through serious personal experimentation in eating and cooking. Willing to try most anything once, Jerry isn't so sure about tripe! Jerry also blogs at Jerry's Thoughts, Musings, and Rants!

About Palma

Palma is a Marriage & Family Therapist in Palm Desert, CA. She’s an Italian-American with a passion for cooking, entertaining, & travel to Italy. She’s always planning her next culinary adventure to Italia on her blog, Palmabella's Passions

About Kim

Kim is our permanent sub and the image above gives you a good idea of the look on her face when she realized she was drafted. Kim loves to eat, drink, travel and cook - probably in that order. When she's not here, you can find her organizing and leading food, wine and beer tours in Europe as co-owner and operator of GrapeHops or blogging at What I Really Think.

« La Jota--Beans and Sauerkraut Soup | Main | Bean and Red Cabbage Soup »

Novara's Bean and Vegetable Soup


This is a HUGE recipe - the ingredient list flows down an entire page. One gets intimidated.

Yes, one does.

Then one looks at the meat stock recipe on p. 15 and truly overwhelmed, one decides to save the soup for another day.

That day came and thank goodness I decided to not take the short cut of using a can of broth (??????). I won't judge those who do . . . well perhaps I will judge them a wee bit.

Marcella's stock recipe does make a wonderful flavourful stock. I've made liters of the stuff over the years but none have approached this stock for flavour. Mind you, using five pounds of meat, and 6 different veggies, ought to impart some flavour. You get out what you put in.

Italians use broth in a multitude of dishes - risotto, soups, the braising of meats, and some pasta dishes. Given the importance of such a prime 'background' ingredient for these other recipes, Marcella provides a detailed and well executed broth recipe.

I learned some important things from Marcella - pork or lamb aren't a good base for broth because their flavour can be strong thereby overpowering whatever prime ingredients are to go in the final dish in which you use the broth. Similarly, chicken giblets should be avoided (now that is prime advice. Avoid those nasty bits like you would Paris Hilton would be MY advice. Marcella is far more honorable than I!).

Anyway, a long and drawn out way of saying - nice broth Marcella. The containers of it frozen in freezer # 2 await future use.

Broth at hand (OK. In pot) I started my soup.

This soup is from the area around Norvara which I discovered was in Piemonte (thank you GOOGLE maps) which has got to be one of my favourite areas in Italy. Marcella writes that this soup has 'two lives' first as a soup and then as a base for a wonderful risotto (more on that later when we explore the risotto chapter).

You can enjoy the soup as is, save some for the risotto, or if you wish refrigerate it for a few days and alter it by adding pasta thus ending up with a wonderful new version.

We LOVED this soup with its intense combination of pork belly, onions, carrot, celery, zucchini, shredded red cabbage, beans, tomatoes, and a healthy amount of delicious broth. It was rich, thick, and immensely satisfying.

Shame that Paolo took some to work and spilled it ALL over his lunch bag. What a waste.

Don't be put off by the list of ingredients . . . the list may flow down the page but the compliments to the chef will flow far more when you serve this soup to your lucky guests!

Comments (6)

Marcella Hazan:

Thank you for being so conscientious and realizing the potential of what I think is one of the very great soups of any cuisine. I refrained from listing ALL the ingredients. Originally, a Piedmontese cook would add a little donkey meat.


Looks delicious!

OK, Jerry. You have me drooling all over my keyboard! I thought I had made enough stock to last through the rest of the soups, but now that we have four days of nasty weather coming, I'm thinking I REALLY need to make this soup.

I am SO glad you made this one!!! For SO many reasons!

David downie:

That comment about the donkey meat is hilarious.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on May 8, 2010 4:35 PM.

The previous post in this blog was La Jota--Beans and Sauerkraut Soup.

The next post in this blog is Bean and Red Cabbage Soup.

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