I've been hungry for comfort foods, but I was also looking for some lighter recipe inspiration.
This is an adaptation of Ina Garten's Winter Minestrone Soup from her cookbook Foolproof. It's easy to adapt this recipe to make this soup vegetarian--just omit the pancetta and replace the chicken/beef stock with vegetable stock.
4 ounces pancetta, diced
1½ cups chopped yellow onions
3 carrots, chopped
3 celery stalks, diced
1 russet potato, diced
5 cloves minced garlic
5 sprigs chopped fresh thyme leaves
5-6 cups chicken stock (I combined chicken and beef stock)
1 parmesan cheese rind (if you have one)
1 14.5oz cad of fire roasted diced tomatoes
2 bay leaves
1 can cannellini beans, drained
1.5 cups small pasta
1 cup frozen spinach
½ cup white wine
2 tablespoons pesto
salt and pepper
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving
Brown the pancetta in a bit of olive oil in a big Dutch Oven or soup pot.
Next add the onions, carrots, celery, potato, garlic, and thyme and cook until softened, about 10 minutes.
Add 5 cups of stock, the can of tomatoes, the bay leaves, and the parmesan cheese rind (if you have one). Salt and pepper the soup. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook 30 minutes, with the lid cracked.
Stir in the cannellini beans (also called great northern white beans), uncooked pasta, and frozen spinach. Allow the pasta to soften (about 8 minutes). You can add additional stock if the soup is looking too thick.
Stir in the white wine and pesto.
Remove the bay leaves and rind, season with salt and pepper again to taste.
Serve with a sprinkling of parmesan cheese and a few pieces of crusty bread.