The temperature finally dropped yesterday!
This was really thrilling for me. I am so tired of the heat. I mean, it's December and it was 70 degrees this weekend. Ridiculous.
Anyways. I'll eat soup every day of the week, but the first really cold day in ages just had me itching to make a pot. This minestrone was just what the cool day called for, and Graham & I inhaled it. This soup started off with the most amazing smells, and ended up tasting as good as I hoped. I mean, vegetables sauteed in bacon fat? Yes, please!
If you need another hearty soup to add to your winter repertoire, give this one a shot. It's comforting, filling, delicious, and less than 200 calories per serving!
(Adapted from this recipe.)
- Olive oil
- 4 ounces of bacon (about 4 slices); diced in about half inch pieces
- 5 stalks of celery; chopped in half moons
- 5 stalks of carrots; peeled & chopped in half moons
- 1 medium red onion; diced
- 4-5 cloves of garlic; minced
- 1 zucchini; chopped in about half inch pieces
- 1/2 cup of dry white wine
- 1 T. of chopped fresh thyme
- 28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes
- 6 cups of chicken stock
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 15 ounce can of cannelini beans; rinsed & drained
- 1 15 ounce can of dark red kidney beans; rinsed & drained
- 10 ounce box of frozen spinach, thawed & all the liquid wrung out.
- 1 cup of uncooked ditalini pasta
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- Drizzle some olive oil in the bottom of the pan (not much since the bacon gives off so much fat).
- Saute the bacon on medium heat until it's starting to brown & crisp up (about 6-7 minutes).
- Turn the heat up to medium-high & add the chopped vegetables. Cook until they have become tender, stirring occasionally (about 10 minutes).
- Add the wine & deglaze the bottom of the pan. Add the tomatoes, beans & the chicken stock. Mix in the spinach and bring to a simmer.
- Reduce the heat to low and let simmer for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, bring a separate pot of water to a boil, add salt and cook the pasta. Drain and add to soup.
- To serve, add a tablespoon of prepared pesto & a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.