It's about time we put a Loaded Minestrone Soup on WGC! We've got every other soup under the sun but for some reason this classic loaded Italian vegetable soup, commonly known as Minestrone, was missing! Well not anymore...
Minestrone is basically an Italian version of a vegetable soup that's loaded with just about every vegetable under the sun, a handful or so of pasta, a tomato broth and parmesan cheese. It has everything you could possibly want / need and it really required very little effort other than chopping all the veggies to prep. It's a one pot wonder that you're going to love!
And it feed a crowd! There's a total of 12 cups of liquid in this recipe so don't be afraid to invite people over for dinner. Just serve this up with a loaf of great crusty bread and call it a day!
The recipe is pretty straight forward - but a few notes if you want to make alterations!
- If you omit the pancetta then this is totally vegetarian friendly
- Omitting the pancetta and the parmesan will make this vegan!
- If you'd rather use rice rather than pasta, that's fine! Use the same amount of dried rice to dried pasta
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 ounces pancetta, diced (can also use bacon)
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 6 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 large carrots, peeled and cut into ½ in coins
- 2 stalks celery, sliced into ½ inch pieces
- 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
- 8 cups chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
- 4 cups water
- 2 bay leafs
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- 1 pound baby new potatoes, cut in half or quartered if on the larger side
- 1 cup macaroni pasta
- 1 large zucchini, cut into ½ in half moons
- ½ bunch Swiss chard, greens removed from stems and torn into pieces about 4 cups packed, and stems cut into ½ in pieces. (keep separate)
- 1 15-ounce can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- ½ cup fresh basil, torn
- 1 cup grated parmesan cheese, divided
- Crusty bread for serving
- Heat the olive oil in a large dutch oven over medium heat. Add the pancetta and cook until golden brown but not quite crispy
- Add the onion, garlic, oregano, crushed red pepper, carrots, and celery. Cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes and then add the canned tomatoes along with the juice and cook 5 minutes more
- Add chicken stock, water, bay leaves, salt and pepper and bring to a simmer and cook partially covered for 10 minutes.
- Add potatoes, dried pasta, zucchini, and chard stems, bring back to a boil and cook 15-20 minutes
- Add rinsed beans and chard, cook another 5-8 minutes
- Toss in the torn basil and ½ cup parmesan, adjust seasoning with more salt and pepper. Serve topped with more parmesan, basil a drizzle of olive oil and crusty bread