Marvelous Minestrone Soup

November 27, 2011
There is nothing more comforting or restorative than a bowl of hot soup, preferably minestrone soup.  This soup is filled with vegetables, beans, and pasta all brought together in a light tomato broth.  This is the type of soup where you can add odds and ends leftover in your fridge and it will be delicious.
1 tablespoon olive oil
6 cups chicken broth (I used the turkey broth I made from our Thank
2 cups onion, finely diced
1 cup celery, finely diced
1 cup carrot, finely chopped
1 tablespoon thyme, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fennel seed, ground
6 cloves garlic, sliced
4 cups zucchini, small diced
1 cup potatoes, small diced
4 teaspoons black pepper
1 teaspoon table salt, to taste
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to package directions until al dente. Drain and transfer the pasta to a bowl. Toss the pasta with a little (less than 1 teaspoon) olive oil to prevent sticking.
In a large saucepan over medium heat, warm the chicken stock.
In another large saucepan over medium high heat, heat oil. When the oil is hot but not smoking, add the Canadian bacon and cook until it begins to brown, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and cook about 1 minute, stirring occasionally. Lower the heat to medium and add the onions, celery, and carrots. Cook until the vegetables are soft, stirring often to prevent browning. Add the herbs.
Raise the heat to high. Add the beans, tomatoes, zucchini, potatoes and stock and bring to a boil. Then bring it down to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are done, 12 to 15 minutes, skimming any foam off the top of the soup.
Season generously with pepper. Add salt, to taste. Just before serving, add the cooked pasta. Serve warm with Parmesan on the side.

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