My childhood memories of Celeste often revolve around food. My Poppy George, Celeste's husband and my father's father, passed away when I was pretty small, so time spent with my Grandma was usually just the two of us, in her condo, usually with her shuffling between smoking a Virginia Slim on the terrace and hovering over a steamy pot in the kitchen. She made this soup for me often and I think about it a lot when I think of her. She sometimes used rice, and sometimes used ditalini, so if you prefer pasta, you can try it that way as well. It's a nurturing soup, very warming but not daunting or heavy. I like the playfulness of all the characters—soft beans, crunchy zucchini, dancing rice, bright herbs, unctuous bone broth, all coming together to create something simple and special.
- Cherry Iocovozzi
In large kettle, sauté onion and pork using 5 tablespoons oil—do not brown onions. Then add carrots, celery, zucchini, cabbage, beans, potatoes, water, soup bones. Cover, cook slowly for 2 ½ hours. Add more water if soup becomes too thick.
In a separate pot, make rice, (cook according to directions on package), adding parsley, basil and garlic to the pot while cooking. Set aside.
When soup is cooked, add rice mixture and serve top with grated cheese. Enjoy!