Minestrone Soup with Bacon

Serves 4

What you’ll need:

  • 20g of butter
  • A few sprigs of Thyme
  • Some basil leaves
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 2-3 slices of free range middle eye bacon
  • 1 leek
  • 2 carrots
  • 3 sticks of celery
  • 1 small Kumera
  • A handful of green beans
  • 2-3 zucchini
  • 1/2 bunch English Spinach leaves – stems removes
  • 1 cup of frozen baby peas
  • 1 cup of small shell pasta
  • 1 400g can of red Cannellini beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 Tbl of tomato paste (if needed)
  • 1 litre of chicken stock
  • 1 800g can of tomatoes
  • salt and pepper to taste
How to get it done:
1. Start by chopping the carrots, celery, Kumera, green beans, zucchini and spinach into similar size pieces (I usually cut mine into 15mm pieces but you can do them bigger if you like a chunkier soup) and set aside.
2. Halve length-ways and thinly slice the Leek (Only use the white part and about an inch of the green above it) and de-rind and dice the bacon.
3. In a large saucepan heat the butter and add the garlic for a couple of minutes over medium-high heat.
4. Add the leek and bacon and saute for 3-5 minutes.
5. Add the Thyme and saute for a minute or two.
6. Add the carrot and then the Kumera a couple of minutes later and saute for 5 minutes.
7. Add  the canned tomatoes and half of the chicken stock. Bring to the boil and then turn the heat down and simmer for 30 minutes. If needed add the tomato paste.
8. Add the remaining vegetables, the Cannellini beans and the remainder of the stock and simmer for a further 30 minutes.
9. Add the pasta and continue cooking until the pasta is al dente.
10. Take off the heat and stir in the basil leaves leaving one each for each serve.v Season with salt and pepper.
11. Serve with a Basil leaf and a shaving of Parmesan or Pecorino cheese

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