There's nothing like a thick and hearty soup to make you feel good on a crisp and sunny fall day.
I was in a cozy mood this weekend, and felt like eating a comforting bowl of soup for lunch, so I took a look inside my pantry and fridge and realized I had all the ingredients to make a Minestrone. Ish.
It may look complicated, with a lot of ingredients, but really, it is one of the simplest things to prepare. Here's how I did it.
INGREDIENTS (for 4-6 people, or just the 1 with tons of leftovers. Good news: you can freeze it!):
- a bunch of kale, leaves picked and coarsely chopped (can be substituted for spinach, or any kind of leafy greens you like)
- a small pack of salt pork (about 4oz) diced, skinned and trimmed off most of the fat (I only had this in the fridge, but would normally have used either pancetta or bacon)
- 3 medium sized carrots, diced finely
- 3 long stalks celery, diced finely
- 3 small potatoes (the waxy kind), diced finely
- 1 medium onion, diced finely
- 3 cloves of garlic, chopped finely
- 1 cup tomato paste
- 1 14oz can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
- 6 to 8 cups of liquid, such as vegetable broth or chicken broth (I mixed 4 cups of chicken broth and about 3 cups of water as I went along and realized it needed more liquid)
- 1 cup of small pasta
- a splash of olive oil
- in a deep soup pot, heat up the olive oil and brown the salt pork until almost cooked through
- then add the holy trinity of diced onion, celery and carrots. Cook on medium-high heat until the vegetables render some moisture and soften (about 3 minutes). This will deglaze the juices of the pork that may have started to caramelize in the pan. Make sure to scrape the pan as it goes with a spatula.
- add the potatoes and garlic, and cook on medium-high heat for another 5 minutes. Keep stirring to ensure nothing sticks to the bottom of the pan.
- finally, add the beans, tomato paste and broth. Stir everything really well, and bring back to a simmer.
- add the kale and cover the pan until the leaves wilt.
- add the pasta, and stir well. Cook until the pasta and vegetables are done (should take anywhere between 7 and 10 minutes, depending on the size of the pasta and how finely you diced the veggies)