Hearty white bean minestrone is a veggie loaded warming spin on the Italian classic. This soup is full of veggies and protein to keep winter colds at bay. And it's got a depth of flavour from pancetta and cavolo nero. A nod to classic Italian ingredients.
Because we are considering that the first day of November is pretty much the first day of winter, right? Only because I'm already all over the winter soup situation. That is this hearty white bean minestrone. It's called a soup, but really this version is more like a stew. Because soups dressed up as stew is totally our thing around here!
And the beauty of this soup is that it's all pretty much veggies and bits and bobs that you already have in your fridge. And in your pantry. This soup started life as an emergency dinner. It was late one night. And we hadn't eaten and really really really didn't want to go out, or get take away. That may seem like a strange statement to make. Usually we don't like going out for quick dinners and would much prefer to plan a dinner out. So, we looked in the fridge and the pantry. We pulled a few ingredients together and this is a new family classic in our household.
This soup is one of those dishes that is so simple and nourishing. Because it just makes you happy to be alive and eating a warm bowl of hearty soup on a cold winter night... or afternoon (hi, desk lunch!). All you need to make this are onions, carrots celery, a tin of chopped tomatoes, a tin of cannellini beans and a mix of quick cooking lentils, barley and mini pasta. I get these in a small packet that comes mixed already. You can find soup boosters like this in most health food stores. Just be sure to get just the mix. You don't want anything with seasonings or any funky stuff. Just straight up barley around here. (We're so wild!)
And that's it. This soup means that fall and winter have officially met their match!
Hearty White Bean Minestrone
- 4 strips pancetta or bacon chopped
- 2 small carrots chopped
- 1 brown or white onion chopped
- 2 celery stalks chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 3 sprigs thyme
- ¼ cup mixed soup pulses see notes
- 1 litre vegetable broth
- 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
- 1 tin cannellini beans
- In a large sauce pan heat the pancetta over a medium heat. Once it’s mostly cooked, add the next ingredients up to and including the garlic.
- Add the thyme and sweat the vegetables for about 5 minutes, until they are soft and translucent. Some colour on the veggies is fine.
- Add the vegetable stock, mixed pulses and bring to the boil for about 10-12 minutes.
- Add the chopped tomatoes and adjust the seasoning.
- If you find your soup a little too acidic from the tomatoes, a drop or two of good quality balsamic should help.