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Minestrone soup

Ingredients: 

4 slices bacon 

1 tbsp olive oil 

2 large carrots 

1 onion 

2 cloves garlic 

1 (14 oz) can cannellini beans 

4 cups kale 

4 cups low-sodium chicken broth 

1 cup shell pasta 

1 cup frozen peas, thawed 

Instructions: 

To begin, cut the bacon into small pieces. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan and fry the bacon on low heat until crispy. This should take approximately five minutes, when stirring the pieces frequently.  

While the bacon fries, peel the carrots. Cut them half lengthwise and then cut them into thin slices. Next, cut the onion in half, slice it thinly then chop the garlic finely.  

Add the carrots, onion and garlic to the bacon in the pan and cook them together for five minutes on low heat. Be sure to stir the ingredients together frequently. 

While the carrots and onion cook, rinse and drain the beans and roughly chop the kale. Then, add the broth and two cups of boiling water to the saucepan and bring it to a boil.  

Next, add the drained beans, chopped kale and peas to the saucepan.  

Finally, reduce the heat and simmer the soup for approximately 10 minutes, and continue stirring frequently. 

To keep the pasta firm to eat, I cook the pasta separately and add it to each bowl when I serve it, rather than throwing it in the soup which winds up soaking up all the broth. However, if you prefer softer pasta, add it in with the beans, kale and peas prior to simmering the soup. 

Let it cool and then enjoy! 

Commentary: 

For those that are trying to limit their trips to the grocery store or when the time comes to use dry and canned goods, this recipe is for you. This soup is super simple to prepare and can be made using completely dried, canned or frozen goods (you could use frozen kale or substitute it, if necessary). The recipe can be adjusted to suit your tastes. The types of vegetables, amount of vegetables and meat can be changed based on what you have or prefer to eat. I sometimes add other vegetables like celery, tomatoes and garlic for a more filling soup. One can also season the soup with any herbs they like to bring more flavor to the soup. I like to add rosemary, basil, bay leaves or parsley. It can also be seasoned with any seasonings, such as salt and pepper to taste. 

This soup is great because you can double or triple the recipe to make larger amounts for more people or to keep some for leftovers. This soup can easily be frozen and kept in the freezer for up to three months. To freeze it, let it cool and then transfer it to freezer-safe containers. Once you want to eat it, thaw it then put it on the stove on medium heat and bring it to a boil or until it’s warm enough for you. 

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