This hardy, smokey minestrone soup is big on flavor thanks to an array of vegetables, as well as the smoked salt and bacon. It’s easy to serve, easy to freeze and defrost, and goes well with a popover, slice of garlic toast, or a handful of shaved Parmesan.
My suggestion is to go a bit overboard with the vegetables if you’re unsure because you can always add more water and seasoning. To me lots of veggies with a sprinkling of bean and bacon is a good ratio, but feel free to change the ratio or do away with the white beans and instead use diced vegetables like parsnip and cauliflower.
This recipe was inspired by a recipe from Ina Garten.
And for meal ideas, try pairing this soup with one of these:
- butter biscuits
- onion cheddar biscuits
- toasted bread or garlic bread (using this bread)
- Parmesan croutons
Smokey Minestrone Soup
I use Alderwood smoked salt in this recipe, but any smoked salt will work, or just use a good sea salt or fine salt and let the bacon provide the smokey flavor. If you have an extra Parmesan rind hanging around toss that in to the soup as well to enhance the flavor and end up with a cheesy crouton at the finish line. Parmesan is a low-lactose cheese, as are other aged cheeses, but avoid this if you’re completely off lactose or dairy.
If you eat gluten-free pasta, when the soup is done you can add about 2 cups of brown rice pasta or other gluten-free pasta. For SCD, use Navy beans if you’re adding beans, or instead of beans use diced cauliflower, parsnip, or another diced vegetable. For Paleo, replace the beans with cauliflower, parsnips, or other vegetable.
Great toppings include shaved or shredded Parmesan or other aged cheese, and garlic croutons.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 8 ounces (227 g) bacon, diced
- 1/2 cup (80 g) yellow or red onion, peeled and diced
- 2 cups (260 g, or about 3) carrots, peeled and diced
- 2 cups (200 g, or about 3 stalks) celery, trimmed and diced
- 4 large garlic cloves (20 g), peeled and minced
- 1 teaspoon (2.2 g) fresh thyme leaves
- 1 teaspoon smoked salt (or other salt) or more to taste
- 28 ounce (800 g) diced tomatoes (and juice)
- 6 cups (1.4 l) chicken or vegetable stock
- a small wedge Parmesan rind (optional)
- 15 ounces ( 425 g) canned or soaked cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 8 ounces (225 g) chopped spinach or kale leaves (no stems)
- Freshly grated Parmesan (for serving)
- Preheat a large stockpot on low to medium heat and add the olive oil to it.
- Add the bacon to the pot and let it cook for 10 minutes or until it begins to brown a bit.
- Add the onions, carrots, celery, and cook for 10 minutes, or until the vegetables begin to soften.
- Add the garlic and thyme and cook for a few more minutes, or until the garlic is becoming fragrant.
- Add the tomatoes, stock, salt, and Parmesan rind, and bring the pot to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook uncovered for about 30 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
- Add the beans and and spinach and cook for another 5 minutes or until the spinach is wilted.
- Optionally, serve with a tablespoon or so of shredded Parmesan.
- Store in the refrigerator for a few days or freeze for a few months.
Makes 6 to 8 servings