Yummy Winter Minestrone Soup
I love to make a big pot of soup on Sunday evenings, since it's a great weekend meal and makes for leftovers all week long. This version of the classic Italian minestrone soup uses vegetables that are available locally during the fall and winter months. It's hearty and filling and good for you, too.
Leave out the pancetta to make it vegetarian/vegan. I also like to make this soup using just water instead of chicken broth—the flavor of the fresh vegetables really comes through. I cook the pasta separately and add it to the bowls when serving. That way when there are leftovers it doesn't absorb all the liquid in the soup when it sits.
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 pound pancetta, diced
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- 1/2 savoy cabbage, shredded
- 1 bunch Swiss chard, shredded
- 2 gold or red potatoes, diced
- 1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
- 1 can cannellini or kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 8 cups water
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 2 cups cooked small pasta like elbows, ditalini, orzo or other
- Grated parmesan cheese for serving
In a large Dutch oven or pot heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add pancetta and saute until it renders out some of the fat and starts to get crispy. Add onion, garlic, carrot, and celery and saute for 10 minutes or until vegetables soften.
Add shredded cabbage and chard and stir to combine. Cook for 5 minutes or until vegetables reduce in size a bit. Add tomatoes, potatoes, beans, rosemary, parsley and water. Combine thoroughly and season to taste with black pepper.
Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 1 hour. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve in soup bowls with a scoop of cooked pasta in each and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese on top.
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