Today, we learn how to make easy minestrone soup, a classic Italian soup recipe. Use whatever you have to make this soup, but use it to pack in good veggies to keep that immune system strong.
Ingredients (2 - 2 1/2 cups is a serving of soup)
1-2 Carrot, Diced
2 Celery Stalks, Diced
1 Onion, Diced
5-6 cloves of Garlic, Diced
5-6 Kale Leaves, Washed and Sliced
1 28 oz Whole Canned Tomatoes, pureed or crushed
1 Cup of Cannelini Beans
1 Quart, Brodo (broth) or Stock
1 Parmigiano Rind
1 Cup, Pancetta, Diced (Optional)
1 Bay leaf
3 Thyme Sprigs
1-2 Tablespoons, Chili Flake
2/3 Cup Ditalini (Depends on how much soup you are serving vs how much you are saving, about 1/4 per person)
2-3 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
Chopped Parsley for Garnish
Good Quality Olive Oil for Finishing
Grated Parmesan Cheese for Garnish
Salt and Black pepper to taste
Chop up all the vegetables into approximately the same size, including the pancetta.
In a large pot over medium heat, add the pancetta and some chili flake if you want some heat and a little bit of olive oil and begin to render out the fat and brown the meat. Once the pancetta is browned and the fat is rendered, add the vegetables and season with a little salt to pull out the moisture. You just want to sweat the vegetables, you are not looking for color. Cook until they are soft and translucent. One soft, add the Brodo or stock, the tomatoes, the herbs, bay leaf, kale and beans and mix together. If you have Parmigiano rind, add that now as well. Bring that up to a boil and then drop it down to a simmer and cook until the vegetables are soft, but still have a little bit to them (or however soft you like them) and the flavors are well developed about 40 minutes. Taste for seasoning, if it tastes a little flat, add some salt until it brightens up. If you are serving the whole thing now, you can either boil the pasta in water separately and serve in a bowl with the soup or you can cook the pasta in the soup. If you do that, you want to portion out however much soup you want to eat now in a smaller pot and then cook the pasta in that pot, reserving the rest of the soup for another time. If you need to add a little water too thin out the soup, add some, the soup will continue to thicken as the pasta cooks so adding water gives it a bit of a head start. Once the pasta is al dente and the soup is well seasoned, it's ready to serve.
Serve with Parmigiano, good finishing olive oil, and chopped parsley.
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