About Minestrone Soup:
Minestrone is a thick soup of Italian origin made with vegetables, often with the addition of pasta or rice. Common ingredients include beans, onions, celery, carrots, stock, and tomatoes.
There is no set recipe for minestrone, since it is usually made out of whatever vegetables are in season. It can be vegetarian, contain meat, or contain a meat-based broth (such as chicken stock). Angelo Pellegrini, however, argued that the base of minestrone is bean broth, and that Roman beans (also called Borlotti beans) "are the beans to use for genuine minestrone".
Because of its unique origins and the absence of a fixed recipe, minestrone varies widely across Italy depending on traditional cooking times, ingredients, and season. Minestrone ranges from a thick and dense texture with very boiled-down vegetables, to a more brothy soup with large quantities of diced and lightly cooked vegetables that may include meats.
In modern Italian there are three words corresponding to the English word 'soup': zuppa, which is used in the sense of tomato soup, or fish soup; minestra, which is used in the sense of a more substantial soup such as a vegetable soup, and also for 'dry' soups, namely pasta dishes; and minestrone, which means a very substantial or large soup or stew, though the meaning has now come to be associated with this particular dish.
I Used Taco chips instead of pasta,as i don't want to go heavy.But you can add cooked pasta to soup and have it.That is what a traditional Minestrone soup is.
2 tbsp of olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
2 stalks of celery, chopped
3 ounces of thick cut pancetta cut into small pieces
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 5oz bag of fresh baby spinach washed and trimmed
1 large russet potato, peeled and cubed
1 14oz can of diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon of tomato paste
1 15 oz can of red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
4 14 oz can of low sodium chicken stock
1 cup of short cut pasta
Salt and pepper
6-7 leaves of fresh basil
Method:1) In a large heavy bottomed soup pot heat the olive oil on medium heat and sauté the pancetta until crispy, just a couple minutes. Once the pancetta is crispy remove from the pan and set aside.
2) Add the chopped onion, carrots and celery and sauté until the vegetables start to cook down and caramelize about 3 minutes, add the potato and garlic and sauté for 3 to 5 minutes, you want all the vegetables to get a golden brown color all over.
3) Add the kidney beans, diced tomatoes, tomato puree and the chicken stock, place a lid on the pan turn the heat to medium high and cook for 30 minutes.
4) When all the vegetables are cooked (mixture should be slightly thicker) season with salt and pepper to taste and add the pasta (cook the pasta according to package instructions) when the pasta is about 2 minutes away from being done add the spinach and basil, cook just until the spinach is wilted . Serve with good crusty Italian bread.