Hearty Minestrone



2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
3 slices bacon, chopped
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 bay leaf
1 bunch kale, leaves pulled from thick stem and coarsely chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 can cannellini beans (15 ounces) , drained
1 can chickpeas (15 ounces) , drained
1 tablespoon rosemary leaves, finely chopped
4 sprigs thyme, leaves removed and chopped
1 can diced tomatoes (15 ounces)
2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
3 cups water
1 cup whole wheat elbows
PreparationHeat a medium-size soup pot over medium-high heat with the EVOO, about 2 turns of the pan. Add the bacon and cook until crispy and golden brown, 4-5 minutes.

Add the onion, garlic, carrots, celery and bay leaf to the pot, and cook until the vegetables have softened, about 5 minutes. Add the kale and cook until wilted, 3-4 minutes. Season the veggies with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Add the beans, chickpeas, herbs, tomatoes, stock and water to the pot, and bring up to a bubble. Add the pasta and boil the soup until the pasta has cooked to al dente, according to package directions. Remove from the heat and let cool for about five minutes before serving. Serves 4.

From Rachael Ray


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