- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 5 slices bacon, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 4 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1/2 of a container of sliced mushrooms
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
- 2 celery ribs, chopped with greens
- fresh ground black pepper
- 2 stalks fresh rosemary
- 1 small eggplant, peeled and sliced
- 1 medium zucchini, diced
- 4 -5 cups chard leaves, trimmed of tough ends and veins and coarsely chopped
- 1 (15 ounce) cannellini beans, drained
- 1 (14 ounce) petite diced tomatoes
- 1 quart chicken broth, plus more depending on how thick you like your soup
- 1 cup ditalini - or any small pasta you have (we used a mix of small shells and bowties)
- grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese
1. Heat a soup pot over med-high heat; add olive oil.
2. Add in the bacon; cook until crisp. Remove it from the pan to cool.
3. Add in the red pepper flakes, garlic, mushrooms, onions, carrots, and celery; cook 5-6 minutes, until mushrooms are lightly browned. Do not add seasonings yet - your mushrooms will get tough!
4. Season with salt and pepper; add in rosemary stems; add in eggplant, zucchini and chopped greens; stir them in to the pot until all the greens wilt down, 2-3 minutes.
5. Add in the beans, tomatoes, broths, and cheese rind; cover with lid and bring to a boil.
6. Uncover and add ditalini pasta; cook for 7-8 minutes at a rolling simmer, uncovered, until the pasta is al dente.
7. Remove pot from heat; remove the now bare rosemary stems; adjust salt/pepper to taste. Add the bacon back in.
8. Ladle soup into shallow bowls; top with grated cheese; serve with crusty bread.