Spring Minestrone Soup


We’ve been enjoying some warm 60 degree days here in Oxford! With Springtime comes fresh garden veggies and tantalizing herbs from the market.

Minestrone is one of my favorite soups, and it’s created in so many different ways. It is naturally a free-form soup, so toss in whatever veggies and herbs you enjoy!

This version includes fresh green kale, dried rosemary, cannellini beans and turkey bacon. A huge bonus: our kiddos love it. If you’re looking for a vegan recipe, leave out the bacon.

Ingredients:

  • 2 T. olive oil

  • 1 onion, chopped

  • 2-3 carrots, peeled, chopped

  • 2-3 celery stalks, chopped

  • 3 ounces sliced turkey bacon, coarsely chopped

  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 pound of Chard/Kale, stems trimmed, leaves coarsely chopped

  • 1 russet potato, peeled and cubed (can omit)

  • 1 (14 1/2 ounce) can diced tomatoes

  • 1 fresh rosemary sprig or dried 1 tsp.

  • 1 (15 oz) can cannellini beans, drained, rinsed

  • 2 (14 oz) cans low-sodium chicken or veggie broth

  • 1 oz. parmesan cheese

  • salt and pepper

Heat the oil in a heavy large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery, turkey bacon or pancetta, and garlic. Saute until the onion is translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the Chard (or Kale) and potato; saute for 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and rosemary sprig. Simmer until the chard (or kale) is wilted and the tomatoes break down, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, blend 3/4 cup of the beans with 1/4 cup of the broth in a processor until almost smooth. Add the pureed bean mixture and the remaining broth to the vegetable mixture. Simmer until the potato pieces are tender, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. Stir in the whole beans and parsley. Simmer until the beans are heated through and the soup is thick, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Discard the rosemary sprig (the leaves will have fallen off of the stem.)

Ladle the soup into the bowls and serve with some Parmesan cheese. Enjoy!