Classic minestrone soup
This is a hearty fill you up and feel good kind of soup. Perfect for the cooler temperatures but I love having it anytime. Just because I live in a hot climate doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy a good soup. I’m actually a big soup fan and this is one of the classics that I love.
Minestrone always reminds me of a very good friend of mine. She made this for us on a very very cold wintery day for lunch and it was the most satisfying thing I had ever had. It’s literally the best one pot dish. Just add bread, wine and good company and it’s perfect!
She is also the one who introduced me to putting in the rind of Parmesan cheese to anything tomato based including this soup to add more flavour and richness. She told me she freezes all her rinds and just adds them to things as she pleases. I have been doing the same since then. Does this soup taste wonderful without it? Yes but I like the flavour that the rind adds and that’s why I add it in, so it’s totally optional. It is said to add a Unami flavour to things. Well you can be the judge of that. I just think it’s adds an extra layer of goodness.
Just add bread, wine and good company and it’s perfect!
This is my classic recipe for minestrone which I have been making for years. I often sub the pumpkin and kale with potato or sweet potato and spinach and the pancetta for bacon but other than that this soup recipe pretty much stays the same and I’m super happy with it. I was looking through some recipes and came across Ina Garten’s recipe for it and she adds white wine and pesto at the end of the cooking time so I thought I would try it out. Just a side note, I love this woman so much and so does my mom (and the rest of the world) but watching her cook brings this kind of inner calm and total food bliss and comfort all at the same time. Anyways do add in the wine and pesto! Just like adding the rind, these two add further complexity of flavour to the soup that is ‘soup’erb!!!
- 1⁄2-1 cup of chopped pancetta or bacon
- 2-3 tbsp of olive oil
- 2 onions chopped
- 4 cloves garlic
- 3 carrots peeled and chopped
- 2 stalks of celery chopped
- 1 cup of pumpkin chopped
- 1 heaping tbsp of fresh thyme
- 1 can of white beans drained and rinsed (I used baby butter beans)
- 2 cans of diced tomatoes or one large one
- 11⁄2 cups of short pasta cooked al dente (I used gluten free)
- 5-7 cups of broth or water
- 1 cup chopped kale
- 1⁄2 cup of white wine
- 2 tbsp of pesto (store bought or homemade
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 chunk of Parmesan rind if you have (optional)
In a large heavy pot (I used my Dutch oven heat pot to medium and cook pancetta until browned.
Add all the veggies including the onions garlic and thyme and cook 10 minutes until they are soft stirring occasionally, season with salt and pepper
Add the broth and tomatoes and bay leaf and Parmesan rind and check and adjust seasoning and simmer for 20 minutes or until all the veggies are soft and cooked through
Add the pasta and beans and kale and cook for another few minutes adding a little more broth or water if it’s too thick.
Stir in white wine and pesto, check for salt and pepper and then serve