Mom’s Minestrone Soup

*6 Servings

• 120 grams bacon, diced (do not trim off the fat)
• ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
• 1 large brown onion, diced
• 1 large leek, white and pale green parts only, diced
• 2 celery sticks, diced
• 2 small carrots, diced
• 4 garlic cloves, minced
• 1 teaspoon oregano
• ¼ teaspoon crushed chili flakes
• 1 baby marrow, trimmed and diced
• 1 can (400 grams) diced tomatoes in juice
• 1 tablespoon tomato paste
• 6-8 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
• Grated Parmesan cheese, for garnish(OPTIONAL)
• 1 bay leaf
• 1 can kidney beans
• 1½ cups packed thinly sliced kale, thick stems removed
• Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper

Directions: Cook the bacon and oil together in a soup pot over medium heat just until the bacon is lightly browned, about 3 minutes.

Then, add the onion and leeks. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the celery, carrots, garlic and oregano, and cook until the vegetables are beginning to soften, about 3 minutes more.

Add the baby marrow and cook until it begins to soften, about 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes and their liquid and the tomato paste, bring to a boil and cook 3 minutes.

Add the broth and bay leaf. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer until the flavors are developed, about 1 hour.

Stir in the beans and kale and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Serve sprinkled with parmesan cheese

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