It still feels like winter here in London (maybe because it still is 🤪), so I’m getting in a few more soup recipes 🍲! This minestrone has definitely been my fave soup of late. It started with a bon appetit/ @basically recipe for “simple ribollita”, and if you google that, you can check out the original recipe. They also have really nice demos of certain processes -so it’s worth a look. Since I didn’t want to put bread in my soup and because it reminded me of a minestrone soup I made many years ago at Christmas that started with pancetta, I made a few adjustments. What resulted was a warming, hearty, bowl of yumminess 🥰😋! The preparation is simple and straightforward, and it makes a delicious, especially easy-to-manage meal for eating with company outdoors (not that we’re doing any of that here in the UK 🙄).Print
- 77 grams (about 3 oz) pancetta, diced
- 1 large onion (about 230 grams/8 oz), diced
- 3 medium carrots (about 160 grams/5 ½ oz), roughly chopped
- 2 medium celery stalks (about 130 grams/4 ½ oz), roughly chopped
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 8 garlic cloves, peels removed and smashed with the side of your knife – you can also just mince it or press it through a press
- 2 teaspoon fresh thyme (picked off the stems but doesn’t have to be chopped -or- Tie 2 or 3 branches together with some kitchen twine and remove before serving.)
- 1, 28 oz can (2, 400 gram cans) whole, peeled, tomatoes placed in a strainer and juices pressed out AND SAVED. I use a mesh strainer and the back of a wooden spoon to do this.
- ½ –¾ teaspoon red pepper flakes (depending on your taste for spice)
- 1 Parmesan rind + some Parmesan cheese for serving
- 1 can (400 grams/14 oz) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 4 cups chicken or veggie broth (store bought -or- for homemade, see recipe HERE for chicken or HERE for veggie in the soups section of the website) or veggie broth
- 200 grams (about 8 oz or a medium bunch) cavolo nero/lacinato kale or any type of kale, tough stems removed and torn into medium-size pieces. You can also use spinach, but I prefer the chew of kale in this soup.
- Freshly ground black pepper and additional salt to taste
- In a large pot or Dutch oven, cook the pancetta over medium heat until crispy. (*You can either 1. start cooking on low heat without olive oil and when the fat starts to render, turn up the heat -or- 2. place a bit of olive oil in the pan and start the heat on medium. Either process will work.)
- Add in the onion, carrot, celery, and salt and sauté for about 10 minutes. Add in garlic and continue to cook for another 5 minutes. Then add in the thyme and strained tomatoes and continue to cook, stirring occasionally. If you feel that you’re having to stir very often, you can turn down the heat a bit.
- Add in the parmesan rind, tomato juices, red pepper flakes, cannellini beans, and broth. Bring to a simmer, add in the kale, continue to simmer for 10 more minutes.
- Serve with extra shredded Parmesan cheese and a hunk of crusty bread on the side.