I decided to make Minestrone for Christmas Eve dinner. This recipe took a lot of chopping time, but it was mostly hands-off following that. I used bacon in place of pancetta, frying it pretty crisp. I sauteed all the vegetables in the bacon grease, to which I drizzled a little olive oil. I used a red onion since that’s what I had, and guessed at how many potatoes were a half pound. We couldn’t find kale, so I used 10 cups cabbage total instead of 4 cups cabbage and 6 cups kale. After the vegetable soup cooked for an hour, it was time to add the beans. I didn’t feel like dragging out the blender, so I smashed up a cup of cooked beans with a cup of the liquid, and poured the rest of the cooked beans directly in the soup. This cooked for another 15 minutes. I thought about adding a little pasta to it, even though the recipe didn’t call for it, but the pot was extremely full and we were ready to eat.
This was pretty good. It had a good flavor. With all the bacon grease, it actually reminded me a little of bean with bacon soup. Everyone went back for seconds on this one. I only added a little olive oil instead of the third cup that this recipe calls for (since they actually fry pancetta in the oil, rather than generate grease from bacon), and I think that was the right amount to use. I’d make it again if I had an hour and a half or so to devote to it.