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Sicilian Minestrone With Tenerumi

Autumn soups are the best.

This one is basically a Sicilian minestrone, with tomatoes and Sicilian greens. Tenerumi are the tender leaves and tendrils of the cucuzza vine. If you can find cucuzza at the market, great. If not, use zucchini or some other summer squash. There are no rules in this recipe—it’s just a guideline. Autumn soups can be anything you enjoy. If you can use ingredients from your garden, there’s nothing better. —Rob Gentile – Buca Restaurant Group, Toronto


• 60 ml (1⁄4 cup) olive oil

• 1 yellow onion, minced

• 1 small red chili pepper, such as bird’s eye, split

• 4 cloves garlic, minced

• 250 ml (1 cup) white wine

• 500–750 ml (2–3 cups) peeled, diced cucuzza (or zucchini or summer squash)

• 15 tenerumi, chopped

• 6 large kale leaves, destemmed and chopped

• 1 handful basil leaves

• 1 handful borage leaves, chopped

• 1 handful fennel fronds, chopped

• 1 handful mint leaves

• 6 sprigs parsley, leaves only 1 sprig rosemary, leaves only, minced

• 400 ml (13⁄4 cups) fresh (or quality canned) tomatoes, roughly chopped

• 2 L (2 quarts) chicken stock

• salt, pepper

• 250 ml (1 cup) grated Parmigiano Reggiano

• extra-virgin olive oil


In a heavy-bottomed pot, heat oil on medium low, add onion and chili, and sweat, stirring frequently, until the onion wilts. Add the garlic; stir and sweat a minute longer. Raise heat to high and deglaze with the wine. When the liquid has reduced by half, add the cucuzza, tenerumi (or zucchini or summer squash), kale, basil, borage, fennel, mint, parsley and rosemary. Stir, add the tomatoes and stock and bring to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper, lower heat to the lowest setting and simmer for 1 hour. Let soup sit for 30 minutes. Then reheat and serve garnished with Parmesan and olive oil.

📷 Ashley Capp

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