Midwinter Minestrone

(from castro15’s recipe box)

Categories: Soup


  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/4 lb. sliced pancetta, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped into 1/4-inch dice
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped into 1/4-inch dice
  • 2 bay leaves, fresh or dried
  • 3 to 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped or grated
  • 1 large or 2 medium red onions, chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 oz. dried porcini or mixed wild mushrooms, chopped
  • 1/2 cup soft sun-dried tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • 1 small bunch of green kale, washed and dried
  • 1 cup ditalini
  • 15 oz. can chickpeas
  • Pecorino Romano cheese, grated or shredded, to pass at the table


  1. Place a heavy-bottomed soup pot over medium-high heat with the olive oil. Add the pancetta to the pot and cook until crispy, 3-4 minutes. Add the carrots, celery, bay leaves, garlic and onions to the pot, season with salt and pepper, and cook until the veggies are tender, 7 to 8 minutes.

  2. Add the mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes, stock and 2 cups water to the pot and bring up to a boil.

  3. Hold the kale by the stems and curl up your opposite hand around the greens at the base of the stem. With a quick jerking motion strip the greens off and away from the stems and chop the greens.

  4. Add the kale, pasta and chickpeas to the soup pot, and cook until the pasta is al dente. Season the soup with salt and pepper to taste. Discard the bay leaves.

  5. Ladle the soup into shallow bowls, top with the Pecorino Romano and serve.

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