Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Minestrone Soup

This Minestrone Soup recipe is definitely a keeper!  My sister Cheyenne gave it to me and told me it was a MUST try!  Wow!  I was completely surprised by the delicious flavor!  It has it all; veggies, pasta, beans, cheese, and delicious spices!  How can you go wrong?  It's hearty and good for you too!

2 slices of bacon, chopped (or 1 oz Pancetta, chopped)
1 1/2 cup onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup carrots, chopped
3/4 cup celery, minced
1/2 small head green cabbage, chopped in 1 inch pieces
1-2 small zucchini, chopped
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon dried parsley
2 teaspoons dried basil
2 quarts whole tomatoes
1 quart water
5 chicken bouillon cubes
2 teaspoons salt
1 (15 - 19 oz) can Cannelloni, Great Northern or other white beans, drained and rinsed
2" x 3" piece of Parmesan Reggiano, cut into smaller pieces
2 cups dried GF pasta (macaroni or shells)

Prepare veggies before you begin and set aside.  Drain and rinse white beans.  Mash half of the beans and leave the other half whole.  Set aside.

Cook bacon in a large soup pot until bacon has released its fat, 2 - 3 minutes.  Add onion and saute until almost tender.  (If bacon doesn't produce enough grease to keep the onions from sticking, add a little olive oil.)  Add minced garlic and cook for another minute.

Add carrots, celery, cabbage, zucchini, rosemary, parsley and basil to the pan.  Cook and stir until veggies begin to wilt, about 5 - 8 minutes.

Add tomatoes, water, chicken bouillon, salt, beans, Parmesan cheese, and pasta.  Cook until pasta is tender, about 16 - 20 minutes.  Stir every few minutes.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Serve immediately or keep warm in a crockpot until ready to serve.

•  If adding fresh spices use the following:
        1 4-inch sprig rosemary, chopped
        1/4 cup packed parsley, chopped
        1/2 cup packed basil, chopped

•  I use whole tomatoes I have canned myself.  If using store bought canned tomatoes, I would use stewed tomatoes.