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Comfort In a Bowl

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Bella Blu's minestrone soup.  

When the chill sets in, few things can warm the soul like a steaming bowl of vegetable soup. Bella Blu (967 Lexington Avenue, near 70th Street; 212-988-4624) does a wonderful version of classic Italian minestrone that bears little resemblance to the starchy tomato-based stuff found in diners and supermarkets. Fresh vegetables including cauliflower, zucchini, asparagus, eggplant, yellow squash, celery, carrots, peas, onions, and tomatoes are roasted in olive oil along with a small cubed potato, then simmered in stock with salt, pepper, and fresh basil and topped with a dollop of pesto for extra zest. Add some fresh Parmesan and a warm piece of crusty bread for a hearty lunch to keep the freeze at bay.


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