The heartiness of minestrone soup calls for good bread. But before the bread, let's make the soup.
1/2 cup chopped pancetta (optional)
1 regular onion, chopped
2 TBS olive oil
2 carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
4 cloves garlic, crushed or sliced
2 TBS tomato paste (to thicken the liquids)
1 - 15 oz can of cannellini beans, or any other kind of bean
2 - 14 oz cans of diced tomatoes with the liquids
Salt and pepper to taste
2 bay leaves
2 cups green beans (frozen, preferably)
2 cups cold water
1 potato, chopped
2 cups baby spinach or kale or escarole (my preference)
4 cups any kind broth (chicken or vegetable)
Sprinkle of red pepper flakes
Grated parmesan cheese
*1 cup cooked small pasta (baby shells, ditalini or chopped spaghetti)
*Note: I add the cooked pasta just before serving because the pasta gets soggy.
In large Dutch oven, warm the olive oil, and add the pancetta and let render before adding the onions, celery and carrots.
Add garlic before adding the tomatoes with liquid. Add salt and pepper and tomato paste. Add water and broth. Stirring all ingredients.
Add baby spinach or kale.
Let soup cook for 45 minutes or until vegetables are tender.