Winter Minestrone

A classic winter minestrone.  The addition of green beans (from freezer section) and a few leaves of winter kale and a nice greenness that is welcome in the winter.

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Winter minestrone, topped with grated Parmesan cheese.

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 ounces pancetta
  • 1 medium onion, diced (I used a medium leek)
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • 2 ribs celery, diced
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen trimmed and cut green beans, and/or
  • 1 to 2 cups (1 14-ounce can) cooked cannellini’s or other white bean
  • 1 or 2 14.5 ounce can(s) diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • water, as needed
  • 1/2 cup uncooked pasta, your choice
  • 3 to 6 leaves of kale, sliced into ribbons, optional
  • salt and pepper, as needed
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons pesto (I used a frozen ice-cube’s worth of my summer pesto), for serving
  • Parmesan cheese, for serving

Heat a large pot over medium heat and coat lightly with olive oil.

Add 2 oz of diced pancetta and cook on low so that fat renders out.  Stir in 1 diced yellow onion, 2 diced carrots, and 2 diced celery ribs, cooking until softened. Stir in chopped green beans and sauté for another 2-3 minutes. Season with salt (about 1/2 teaspoon kosher), pepper, and a pinch of dried oregano. Add 1-2 cloves minced garlic and cook for another minute.

Add in canned tomatoes, cooked beans and 2 cups chicken broth.  Add another 1/2 to 1 teaspoon kosher salt.  Add enough water to cover. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low, simmering for about half an hour to an hour.

Stir in 1/2 cup uncooked pasta and the sliced kale, optional.  Return to a boil, and simmer until pasta is cooked through, about 10 minutes to 15 minutes.

Taste for salt and pepper and adjust.

Serve topped with a little pesto and grated Parmesan cheese.

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All the veggies, just starting to simmer.

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Winter minestrone, topped with fresh Parmesan.

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