Minestroni Soup

Recipe by Terri @ that's some good cookin'

Makes 6 quarts soup

  • 4 ounces pancetta, cut into 1/4-inch dices (Chopped bacon is a good substitute for pancetta; 4-6 pieces of bacon will suffice.)
  • 1 large potato, diced in 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 large carrots, diced
  • 4 cups chopped cabbage (About 1/2 of a small head of cabbage, or 1/4 head of a medium cabbage.)
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, or to taste
  • 8 cups broth (I used beef broth, but chicken or vegetable will also work.)
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped basil, or 2-3 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped oregano or 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2-3 chunks of parmesan rinds, optional¬†
  • 1 can (28 ounces-32ounces) crushed tomatoes in puree
  • 1 can (15 ounces) cannellini beans or dark red kidney beans
  • 1 cup salad pasta or 4 ounces (1/4 pound) spaghetti noodles broken into 2-inch pieces or 1 cup orzo
  • Grated Parmesan for topping individual servings, optional


Instructions:

  1. In a large (8 quart) pot, over medium heat, cook the pancetta until the fat has been rendered and the pancetta starts to brown. Do not cook until crispy.
  2. Add the onion and garlic to the pot. Cook stirring as needed for 3-5 minutes.
  3. Add the potato, celery, carrots, cabbage, salt, pepper. Continue to cook over medium heat, stirring as needed, for about 7-10 minutes or until the potatoes just start to soften but are still firm in the middle.
  4. Pour the broth over the vegetables. Add the parsley, basil, oregano, bay leaves and Parmesan rinds (if using). Cover the pot and raise the heat enough to bring the soup to a low boil. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally as needed.
  5. Stir in the crushed tomatoes, beans, and pasta. Cover pot and bring soup back to low boil, stirring as needed, until pasta is cooked to al dente stage. Remove parmesan rinds and bay leaves before serving. May be served with grated Parmesan, if desired.
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