Nothing beats a warming, hearty soup to comfort you on cold days and our minestrone soup with pancetta and collard greens will do just that. Packed with veggies and beans, you can easily eat this as a meal on it’s own. It also keeps well to use for leftovers, so none goes to waste. After a big bowl of this soup you’ll feel pleasantly full, and feel good about all the nutritional ingredients it contains.
I chose to use collard greens in this soup because I do love the texture of them. They don’t soften as much as spinach, but it isn’t quite as thick as kale. However having said that, you can really substitute it for any green you prefer. So if you have kale, spinach, collards, or swiss chard in the fridge already, use it up.
I love the nutritional value in this soup as it contains so many veggies like carrots, celery, onion, collard greens, tomato, and the beans add the benefit of lots of fiber. I throw in a few noodles to better entice the children to eat it. This delicious soup is one anyone can enjoy, and it’s perfect for this time of the year. I hope you get a chance to try it!
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- 3 Tablespoons olive oil
- 150 g pancetta, diced
- ½ sweet onion, chopped
- 1½ cups carrots, chopped
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 9 cups chicken stock
- 1 tbsp. brown sugar
- 1½ cups of canned diced tomatoes, with the juice
- ½ tsp red chili flakes
- 1 tsp dried basil leaves
- ½ tsp dried oregano leaves
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2½ cups collard greens, shredded
- 2 cups canned white kidney beans, washed and drained
- 2 cups canned red kidney beans, washed and drained
- ½ cup tubetti pasta
- parmesan cheese to serve (optional)
- In a large soup pot heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium heat. Add the pancetta and cook until starting to crisp, stirring often, about 4 minutes. Remove pancetta from the pot and set aside in a bowl.
- Add the remaining oil to the pan along with the carrots, celery, and onion, and sauté until onion is starting to soften about 5 minutes. Then add the garlic and continue to sauté another minute.
- Now add the stock, diced tomatoes, brown sugar, chili flakes, basil, oregano, and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil.
- Add the collard greens and let simmer for 10 minutes.
- Now add the beans and pasta. Cook until pasta is al dente.
- Add the pancetta back to the pot, and taste for seasoning. Add more salt and/or pepper if needed. Serve with parmesan cheese!