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Minestrone


Makes 4 servings
I usually substitute green beans for peas, and if tomatoes are here, I use fresh ones and skip the carrots (they're not usually around at the same time here in North Carolina).  If I don't have tomatoes yet, I'lluse canned and throw in carrots.

    2 tablespoons olive oil                                        
    1/2 red onion                                                  
    2 carrots                                                      
    1 stick celery                                                 
    2 cloves garlic, minced or crushed                             
    2 slices bacon                                                 
    1 14 1/2-ounce can tomatoes                                    
    5 cups vegetable stock or other stock                          
    1 teaspoon sea salt                                            
    1/4 teaspoon black pepper                                      
    8 ounces pasta,small shapes                                    
    1/4 cup peas                                                   
    1 zucchini, cut lengthwaysand thinly sliced into half moons    
    1 15-ounce can cannellini beans or borlotti beans, rinsed and drained
    1 tablespoon freshly chopped parsley                           
    Finely grated parmesan cheese or romano cheese                 

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large saucepan and cook the bacon for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add the onion, carrot and celery and cook, covered, 3 minutes.  Stir again and cook, covered, for another 3 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook for a minute, stirring regularly.  Add the tomatoes, stock, saltand pepper and stir to combine.  Bring to a boil, cover, reduce the heat to medium, and simmer for 10 minutes.  Add the pasta, peas, zucchini, and beans, stir to combine, increase eat to medium-high and cook, covered for another 10 minutes until pasta is tender. Remove from the heat and stir through the parsley and reserved tablespoon of olive oil.  Serve in bowls sprinkled with a little grated parmesan or romano cheese.

Recipe adapted from MediterrAsian.com