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Soak the beans overnight in a bowl of cold water. Next day, drain the beans and cook them in a largepot with 3 litres of salted water. As the beans absorb water keep adding hot water to maintain 3 litres of liquid at the end of the cooking time. When beans are tender ( about 1 hour) remove from the flame and let stand until needed(Strain before adding to soup)
Coarsely chop the pancetta, onion, celery, garlic and parsley and saute them in a stock pot with half the olive oil for 12 - 15 minutes. Meanwhile finely slice the cavolo nero, remove the stem from the silver beet and cut into small pieces, peel the potato and cut it into small squares.
Add the potato to the stockpot, along with the tomatoes. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes, add the chicken stock bring to boil and simmer for 5 minutes,add the cooked haricot beans along with theSwiss chard, cavolo nero and parsley.
Pass two-thirds of the beans through a food mill into the stockpot. Simmer together for about 1/2 hour. Check seasoning and serve with the ciabatta and additional extra virgin olive oil.
Minestrone is usually made in large quantites so there will be enough left over the next day to make ribollita.
Overnight the minestrone will thicken even further. Heat it, and allow to boil for about 1 minute. Ladle into individual bowls and pour 2 teaspoons of good olive oil over each serving.
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