This minestrone recipe is designed to take advantage of whatever is growing fresh in your garden right now. While you may want to stick to the combination of root vegetable, squash, beans and greens, substitutions can and should be made depending on what’s available. What makes this soup really tasty is the “garnish” of bacon, shallot and garlic that is swirled in right at the end.
This recipe is very adaptable. It can made ahead of time and then reheated before serving. Extras can be frozen, so make a big batch.
Time to make: ~45 minutes
- 1 quart chicken stock
- 2 carrots, diced
- 2 sm. summer squash, diced
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 3 oz. bacon or prosciutto, diced
- 1 shallot, sliced thinly
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 can any beans, drained and rinsed, or the equivalent of cooked beans
- 1 bunch arugula, chopped
- 1 handful parsley, minced
Add the stock, carrots and squash to a large soup pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil over medium. Add the bacon, onion and garlic. Cook slowly until the bacon is crisp and the onion is translucent, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat.
Add the beans to the soup and let heat through, about 5 minutes. Add the arugula and parsley. Stir in the bacon mixture. Warm through about 5 minutes to wilt the greens and blend the flavors. Serve with crusty Italian bread.