Old Chicago Minestrone

Christy Rost


4ounces pancetta, or 4 strips bacon
1cup chopped celery, about 2 stalks
1medium onion, chopped
3large carrots, peeled and sliced
5cloves garlic, minced
128-ounce can chopped tomatoes
5cups chicken broth or homemade chicken stock
1cup water
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1tablespoon dried oregano
1cup chickpeas, drained and rinsed
115-ounce can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
115-ounce can cannellini or Great Northern beans, drained and rinsed
2cups uncooked small pasta shells
5mustard 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.

Category: Soups