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Minestrone with Spinach and Cannellini Beans

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Total Time:  30 Minutes
  6 servings
There are a thousand variations on rustic minestrone, and not all of them involve pasta. Cannellini beans add structure to this version, and fresh spinach makes it a well-rounded meal.
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 slices bacon, chopped
1 small yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 celery stalk, diced
2 carrots, finely diced
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 (15.5-ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 (28-ounce) can diced fire-roasted tomatoes
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
3 cups coarsely chopped spinach
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1/3 cup grated Parmesan, to garnish
Minestrone with Spinach and Cannellini Beans Recipe at
In a large soup pot over medium heat, heat the oil and add the bacon. Cook until the bacon fat has begun to render, about 2 minutes. Add the onion and cook, stirring, for 3 more minutes until the onion begins to soften. Add the garlic, celery and carrots and cook, stirring frequently, an additional 4 to 5 minutes, until the carrots begin to soften.

Add the bell pepper, beans, tomatoes, chicken broth, basil, thyme, bay leaf and red pepper. Turn the heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook for 15 minutes, adding the spinach in the last 3 minutes of cooking. Season with salt and pepper and serve with Parmesan sprinkled on top of each serving.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Ann Volkwein. All rights reserved.
Date Added: 07/24/2014
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