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Country Style Minestrone

"The perfect meal for the crisp fall or wintry snowy day," Erin's mom.

Prep
Cook
Serves 6people
Ingredients
1
tbsp T. of olive oil
1/4
lb of bacon, diced (for it's rendered fat)
1
large onion, peeled and diced
1
rib of celery, diced
2
carrots, peeled and diced
2
tbsp T. of minced garlic
1/2
head savoy cabbage, sliced (or you can use plain green cabbage)
1
large russet potato, peeled and diced
2
cups canned chopped italian tomatoes
2
cup (one 15-ounce can) of cannellini or great white northern beans
2
cup (one 15-ounce can) of garbanzo beans
4
cups of chicken stock or broth
1/2
tbsp T. of salt
1/2
tsp of freshly ground black pepper
1
tsp of dried basil
1/2
tsp of dried oregano
1/2
cup of dry, small pasta, such as ditali, orzo, or elbow
2
cups of water
1
bunch of Swiss chard, cleaned of stems, chopped, or 1 bunch of fresh chopped spinach
6
slices of italian bread, roasted (optional)
1/4
cup of freshly grated romano or parmesan cheese
Directions
1.
In a large heavy pan, heat the oil. Add the diced bacon and sauté for 3 to 5 minutes, until crunchy. Remove the bacon bits and reserve for another use. (I don't like to leave the bacon in the pot with the vegetables because it turns "rubbery". I save it for another use or to garnish the soup at service). To the pan, add the onion, celery, carrots, and garlic. Cook for1 minute. Add the cabbage, potato, tomatoes, beans, broth, salt, pepper, basil and oregano. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Add the pasta and water. Cover and cook another 10 minutes. Stir often to make sure the pasta is cooking evenly. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Add the Swiss chard; cook another 2 minutes just until chard is wilted. Serve in large bowls. Place a thick slice of bread on the bottom of the bowl and top with minestrone and cheese. Sprinkle the bacon bits on top if you wish.
2.
*This is a thick, hearty soup. It can easily be doubled. I usually make a double batch and freeze half.

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