<p>What is so great about cooking minestrone is the fact, that every season the recipe and the dish is completely different, depending of course on what's on the garden or at the farmers market. But don't allow that to scare you, get playful, try different ingredients, different vegetables and it will turn out just great. </p>
Soak the dry beans and the spelt for 24 hours. If you are using canned beans, add it at the end of cooking minestrone. Put the spelt in a small pot, pour over two cups water and cook until it starts to simmer. Drain the spelt and put a side.
Dice the onion and the celery stalks. peel and dice the carrots. Boil 1 liter of water or use the vegetable stock, if you have it.
Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and diced pancetta (don't add it if you don't eat meat) and cook for about 2 minutes. Lower the heat, add the carrots and celery. Continue to cook for about 10 minutes.
Stir in the garlic, spelt, herbs and beans, also add water or vegetable stock. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for about 45 minutes.
Add the peas and string beans. Cook for another 20 minutes. Ladle into bowls and top with the pan fried button mushrooms and bleached swiss chard leaves.
If you are using canned beans instead of dry beans, add them right before cooking for 20 more minutes.