Minestrone Soup Recipe
2 leeks, chopped
2 onions, chopped
3-4 slices of pancetta, bacon, or prosciutto (optional), chopped
Begin by sautéing the above ingredients in about 1/4 cup of Extra Virgin Oil in a Dutch Oven.
Add a dash of salt, pepper, and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Sauté, stirring until onions and leeks are nicely softened and translucent.
Then add the following to the pot:
3 carrots, chopped
3 ribs of celery, chopped
2 medium sized baking potatoes, chopped
1 medium zucchini (can be skipped if not in season)
1 28-ounce can of diced tomatoes
about 8 cups of water
Cook, on low heat with lid ajar, for 1-1.5 hours until vegetables are tender.
Then add beans – you can use any kind of bean, but I usually add one can of red kidney and one can of cannellini. Cook another 10 minutes or so. Taste for salt and pepper and add more if needed.
Once done, I like to serve this with soup poured over barley. Barley is a great grain and very healthy – great for balancing blood sugar. I make a big batch and keep it in the fridge and each time I reheat the soup, I just put a couple spoonfuls of barley into my bowl and pour the soup over it.
Another delicious and super-healthy addition to this soup is a Rosemary-Garlic Pesto. I chop fresh rosemary (about 1 tbsp) and fresh garlic (about 6 cloves), then I mix it with a dash of olive oil and drizzle this on top of my bowl of minestrone. So delicious. The Rosemary brings out a meaty flavor in the soup, and both the rosemary and garlic are great for keeping the immune system ready and able during the winter cold and flu season.