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Bacon Minestrone

Yield 12 (1-cup) servings.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound dried red kidney beans
  • 8 ounces bacon
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup thinly sliced leeks
  • 1 cup julienne-cut carrot
  • 1/2 cup sliced celery
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh garlic
  • 2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 (10 1/2-ounce) cans chicken broth
  • 5 cups water
  • 2 (14 1/2-ounce) cans whole tomatoes, undrained and coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup elbow macaroni, uncooked
  • 2 cups coarsely shredded cabbage
  • 1 1/2 cups thinly sliced zucchini
  • 1/2 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Nutrition Information

  • calories 260
  • caloriesfromfat 34 %
  • fat 9.8 g
  • satfat 3.7 g
  • monofat 0.0 g
  • polyfat 0.0 g
  • protein 14.4 g
  • carbohydrate 29.7 g
  • fiber 0.0 g
  • cholesterol 14 mg
  • iron 0.0 mg
  • sodium 760 mg
  • calcium 0.0 mg

How to Make It

  1. Sort and wash beans; place in a Dutch oven. Cover with water to a depth of 2 inches above beans; let soak overnight. Drain beans well; set aside.

  2. Cook bacon in a Dutch oven over medium heat until crisp; remove bacon, reserving 1 tablespoon drippings in pan. Crumble bacon, and set aside.

  3. Add olive oil to pan; place over medium-high heat until hot. Add leeks and next 4 ingredients; saute until tender. Stir in Italian seasoning and salt; saute 1 minute. Stir in beans, chicken broth, and 5 cups water; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 1 hour or until beans are tender, stirring occasionally.

  4. Stir in tomato, macaroni, cabbage, zucchini, and spinach. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes. Ladle into individual bowls. Top each serving with 1 tablespoon cheese and crumbled bacon.

Light and Luscious