Minestrone

An Italian Classic! Overflowing with veggies, pasta and flavor. I love to make this when I have leftover Parmesan rinds, they add so much flavor to soup! So welcome and warming on a cold winter’s day!

Ingredients:
Serves 6 easily

  • 4 – 5 pieces of bacon
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 leek, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1- 28 oz can of whole tomatoes, drained and squished with your fingers
  • 2 handfuls of fresh spinach
  • 2 handfuls of green beans, trimmed and cut in half (about 1/4 lb)
  • 3 red potatoes, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 can of cannellini beans, drained
  • 4 cups of beef stock
  • Parmesan rind (optional)
  • 3 fresh thyme sprigs or 1 1/2 tsp of dried thyme
  • 1 fresh rosemary sprigs or 1 1/2 tsp of dried rosemary
  • 2 tsp of coarse black pepper
  • 1 tsp of salt (taste at the end and add more if needed)
  • 6 oz of small pasta, (like Ditalini)
  • fresh Parmesan cheese, grated or shaved

Directions:

In a big soup pot or dutch oven, cook the bacon til crisp, remove and set aside for later, drain some of the bacon grease, leaving about 1 Tbs. Add the onions, celery, carrot and leek and saute for 3 – 4 minutes, add the garlic and saute 1 more minute Add the tomatoes, spinach, green beans, potatoes, cannellini beans, beef stock, Parmesan rind, thyme, rosemary, and pepper & salt, bring to a boil and then cover and simmer for 1 hour. Add the pasta, stir and simmer for 30 more minutes, crumble and stir in the reserved bacon, add a little more beef broth or water if the soup is too thick.Remove the Parmesan rinds and the herb sprigs, if you used fresh herbs, taste and add salt if needed, ladle into bowls and top with the Parmesan cheese. Serve with warm crusty bread! Buon Appetito!

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