Winter Minestrone

Who doesn’t like soup? K and I are lovers of soup. If we could have it every day of the week we would. One of K’s favorite soups is Minestrone. I have never attempted it before and he has been craving it so into the kitchen I went. The soup came out great. Hearty and soul warming. Try it and let me know what you think!

Winter Minestrone
Adapted from Gourmet, January 2009

4 slices bacon (chopped) **
1/2 medium onion (chopped onion)
4 carrots (chopped)
4 celery stalks (chopped)
2 cloves garlic (minced)
1/2 bunch of spinach
1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
2 cups (or 14 oz can) diced tomatoes with their juice
4 cups chicken stock (or water)
1 cup cannellini beans (or 1 14 oz can)
2 cups cooked ditalini pasta

** I used 1/3 cup of bacon bits. I have been trying to get those darn things out of the house and finally it has worked! Also, I hate making bacon. Hate it.

Drizzle a small amount of olive oil on the bottom of a dutch oven pot. Cook bacon, onions, carrots, and celery over medium heat until bacon is cooked through, but not crispy. Add garlic and cook, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes or so. Push vegetables to one side of the pot and add tomato paste to the cleared area and cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes. Stir in tomatoes with their juice and cook another 5 to 10 minutes, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Add chicken stock. Cover and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes. Add beans to soup and spinach, taste, and season with salt and pepper. Simmer about 5 minutes longer. Stir cooked ditalini pasta into each bowl and serve with a loaf of bread or homemade biscuits.

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