Old Chicago Minestrone
|4||ounces pancetta, or 4 strips bacon|
|1||cup chopped celery, about 2 stalks|
|1||medium onion, chopped|
|3||large carrots, peeled and sliced|
|5||cloves garlic, minced|
|1||28-ounce can chopped tomatoes|
|5||cups chicken broth or homemade chicken stock|
|salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste|
|1||tablespoon dried oregano|
|1||cup chickpeas, drained and rinsed|
|1||15-ounce can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed|
|1||15-ounce can cannellini or Great Northern beans, drained and rinsed|
|2||cups uncooked small pasta shells|
|5||mustard leaves, cleaned and chopped|
Slice pancetta or bacon into 1-inch pieces. Cook meat in a large dutch oven over medium heat until fat begins to melt; stir in celery, onion and carrots. Cook vegetables 4-5 minutes until crisp-tender. Add garlic; cook 1 additional minute.
Pour in tomatoes, chicken broth and water. Cover and bring soup to a gentle boil, reduce heat to low and simmer 30 minutes until vegetables are soft. Season soup with salt, pepper and oregano.
Cook pasta in boiling salted water until almost al dente. Drain and set aside.
Add chickpeas, kidney beans and cannellini beans to soup. Cover and simmer until hot. Stir in cooked pasta and chopped mustard leaves, cover and heat 10 minutes or until ready to serve.
Recipe serves 8.