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Friday, September 14, 2012

Fall Minestrone Soup

  • 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
  • salt
  • 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.

Adapted from: Rachael Ray, 365 No Repeats

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