This hearty minestrone isn’t authentic but it is very good. There is a fair amount of chopping involved but actual at the stove cooking time is fairly short. This pot of soup went from pantry/fridge to table in just over an hour and it made my house smell fantastic.
4 slices bacon, chopped
2 T olive oil, divided
1 med onion, chopped
1 leek, white and light green part only, cleaned well and thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 med carrots, split in half lengthwise and sliced
2 stalks celery, split in half lengthwise and sliced
1 zucchini, split in half lengthwise and sliced
2 med red potatoes, or a russet baking potato if that’s what you have, diced
2 cans diced tomatoes in juice (14 oz)
4 c chicken or vegetable stock
1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 package cheese tortellini
parsley, for garnish
parmesan, shredded, for garnish
- Heat a tablespoon of oil in a large soup pot over medium heat.
- Add bacon and fry for a couple minutes, just until it begins to brown.
- Add the remaining tablespoon of oil.
- Give the oil 30 seconds or so to warm up and add onion, leek and garlic to the pan.
- Stir well and cook until softened, about 10 minutes.
- Add carrots, zucchini, celery and potatoes. Stir well and cook for a couple minutes.
- Next add the chicken stock, canned tomatoes and rinsed beans. Also add 1 can of water (14.5 oz) Stir well.
- Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a low simmer and cook for 20-30 minutes or so until the potatoes begin to soften. Stir occasionally and about halfway through, taste and adjust seasoning.
- While potatoes are cooking in soup, bring a water to a boil in a separate pot.
- Cook tortellini 2 minutes shorter than package directions. Drain and add to soup pot.
- Stir well. Cook for 2 minutes,
- Ladle into bowls, sprinkle with parsley and parmesan if using.