This classic Italian minestrone
soup is packed with flavor and nutrients and is hearty enough to be
eaten as a light meal in its own right.
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive
2 slices lean bacon, finely chopped
1 red onion, diced
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1 stick celery, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 cups vegetable stock
2 cups canned chopped tomatoes
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ cup small pasta, such as elbows or orzo
½ cup frozen green peas, thawed
1 zucchini (courgette), cut in half lengthways and sliced into
1 cup canned white beans (like cannellini), rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
Finely grated Parmesan cheese
HEAT 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large
saucepan and cook the bacon, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes.
ADD the onion, carrot, and celery and cook, covered, for 3 minutes.
STIR again and cook, covered, for another 3 minutes. ADD the garlic
and cook, stirring regularly, for a minute. ADD the stock, tomatoes,
salt, and pepper and stir to combine. BRING to a boil, cover, reduce
the heat to medium, and simmer for 10 minutes. ADD the pasta, peas,
zucchini, and beans, stir to combine, increase the heat to
medium-high and cook, covered, until pasta is tender, about 8
minutes. REMOVE from the heat and stir in the parsley and the
reserved 2 tablespoons of olive oil. SERVE in bowls sprinkled with a
little grated Parmesan cheese.