Minestrone is the Italian vegetable soup, but add Peameal bacon and a hint of maple syrup and you’ve got a new classic.
From “In the Kitchen with Anna: New Ways with the Classics”, Whitecap Books, 2008
Photo by Michael Olson
Cook the bacon over medium heat in a large soup pot until crisp. Remove the bacon and reserve, draining all but 2 Tbsp of the bacon fat.
Add the onion, carrot and parsnip to the pot and sauté 5 minutes. Add the zucchini, pepper, garlic, thyme and bay leaf and sauté 1 minute more. Add the kidney beans, tomato, chicken stock and maple syrup. Cover loosely and simmer until the vegetables are tender, 20 to 30 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and season to taste.
While the soup is simmering, cook the pasta in boiling salted water until just tender, then drain and rinse to halt the cooking. Set aside.
Cook the peameal slices in a sauté pan over medium-high, about 5 minutes on each side until cooked through.
To serve, rinse the cooked pasta under hot water to warm it, then drain. Spoon 2 Tbsp of pasta into each soup dish, then ladle the soup on top. Slice the peameal into strips and place on top. Sprinkle each soup dish with Parmesan, parsley and reserved bacon and serve immediately.