Needless to say, fall is prime minestrone eating time. There are so many variations of this delicious and healthy soup – it’s a handy recipe to have when you need to clean out the fridge, just throw in whatever you need to use up! Personally, I prefer a semi spicy tomato-Parmesan flavoured broth with a healthy serving of veggies, beans and pasta with some fresh spinach thrown in right before you eat. I don’t find soggy soup soaked spinach particularly appetizing, so I usually wait until the last possible minute to add it. And, if you have some crusty Italian bread on the side, you’ve hit the fall-dinner jackpot 🙂
Give it all a stir and dig in!
2 tbsp canola oil
3 slices back bacon, chopped
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic
2 carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 tsp red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 can diced tomatoes
6 cups chicken stock
1 can each red kidney beans and chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 cup short pasta (rigatoni, penne, shells, tubetti etc. etc. etc.)
1/3 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
Grated fresh Parmesean, to taste
- In soup pot, heat oil over medium-high heat and cook back bacon for 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and add onion, garlic, carrots, celery, oregano, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Cook for about 10 minutes or until softened and just about golden.
- Add tomatoes, pour in chicken stock; bring to boil. Reduce heat to simmer and add beans, chickpeas and pasta. Simmer for about 20 minutes or until pasta is tender. Stir in Parmesean, parsley, and basil. Add spinach right before eating.
*Skip the back bacon and use veggie broth for an easy vegetarian meal!