Recipe: Minestrone Soup

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Soup in the summer? I love it. A light broth-based soup is good any time of year. However the last week in Portland hasn't felt like spring or summer at all. The cold front and rain brought upon a craving for some soup. Today I'm sharing one of my favorite recipes for an Italian classic, minestrone soup. Hope you guys enjoy!

1/2 cup bacon (chopped)
1 lb spicy italian sausage (without casings)
1 small bunch dinosaur kale (coarsely chopped)
1 bulb fennel (chopped)
1 large carrot (chopped)
5 cloves garlic (chopped)
1 yellow onion (chopped)
1 14 oz can white kidney beans (rinsed & drained)
1 14 oz can garbanzo beans (rinsed & drained)
8 cups of chicken broth
2 plum tomatoes
3 sprigs fresh rosemary (leaves removed from stem & chopped)
5 sprigs fresh thyme (leaves removed from stem & chopped)
grated parmigiano reggiano 
1 lb bag of pasta (I used fussili, but I would recommend shells)


1. Heat a large pot of boiling water on high with lid on. When it comes to a boil, salt generously and add dry pasta. Reduce heat, and simmer uncovered until pasta is al dente. Drain and reserve.
2. Meanwhile, heat large, heavy-bottomed pot (I used a large cast iron pot) over medium-high heat. Add bacon and cook until all the fat is rendered and the bacon is crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Discard all but 2 Tbs bacon fat. 
3. Place pan and remaining bacon fat back on the heat and add sausage. Break the sausage into small pieces, I like to use a potato masher for this. Cook until golden brown and remove with a slotted spoon and reserve. 
4. Add chopped onion, carrot, fennel, kale, and garlic to the pan and season with salt and pepper. Cook until tender (about 10 minutes), stirring occasionally. 
5. Stir in beans and chicken broth. Grate tomatoes and add to soup with rosemary and thyme. 
6. Bring to a boil. Simmer for 10-15 minutes stirring occasionally. 
7. Serve hot over cooked pasta with grated parmigiano on top!

Note: For leftovers, I like to store the cooked pasta and soup separately so that my pasta doesn't get soggy!



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