My version of Minestrone is loaded with chunky vegetables, cooked with diced pancetta and slightly thickened from the cannellini beans and diced potatoes. A small amount of Ditalini pasta is added at the end to keep it hearty. This is Italian comfort food for a cool Autumn night. Minestrone is also super easy to make.
Here is the step-by-step guide and recipe:
Cook diced pancetta and chopped onion in a large pot. My well-worn Le Creuset Dutch Oven is perfect for soups.
Add all of the chopped vegetables, chicken stock, canned tomatoes and seasoning. Bring to a boil. Cover and lower the heat to medium low and simmer for 60 minutes.
Add 1 scant cup of Ditalini pasta to soup. Stir and allow to cook for 7 minutes or until the pasta is al dente.
Before serving, add grated parmesan cheese and mix in. Serve immediately in large soup bowls with a crusty Italian bread.
You can store Minestrone in an airtight container in the fridge. The pasta will absorb a great deal of liquid while sitting for long periods of time. If so, add more chicken stock to the soup when reheating to thin to your liking.
Cara's Minestrone Soup
- 4 ounces pancetta diced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion chopped
- 3 small zucchini sliced or quartered depending on size
- 8 ounces fresh spinach washed and chopped
- 6 ounces green beans trimmed and cut in thirds
- 2 carrots diced
- 1 celery rib diced
- 1 large baking potatoes peeled and diced
- 1 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes optional or to taste
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 1 15-ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes with juice
- 1 cup Ditalini pasta
- 1 cup grated parmesan cheese + extra for serving
Render the pancetta in a large Dutch Oven pot over medium heat. Continue cooking until brown, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.
Add olive oil and chopped onion and cook until the onion is translucent, about 4 minutes.
Add the zucchini, spinach, celery, green beans, white beans, potatoes, carrots, garlic, salt, black and red pepper. Toss to mix with the onions and pancetta. Continue cooking for another 15 minutes, stirring gently with a wooden spoon every 5 minutes.
Add the chicken stock and can of diced tomatoes. Stir to combine. Cover and cook over medium heat for 60 minutes.
Add the Ditalini pasta and cook for about 7 minutes, or until the pasta is cooked a la dente.
Stir in the grated Parmesan cheese and mix well. Serve immediately with extra grated cheese on the side.