Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Smokey Minestrone with Tortellini & Pesto

Recipe from: fullforkahead
Image Credit: Kmont
Smokey Minestrone with Tortellini & Pesto

“Have extra chicken stock on hand just in case. The second time I made this soup, it seemed as if the liquid reduced more than the first time, and I needed a little more stock before adding the pasta and kale. I only added about another half a cup of stock, though, and this rarely affects the bright flavors of reduced soups since the flavors will become more concentrated. Extra stock is also handy in case you’d like to loosen the soup up as leftovers later.” Kmont


3 tablespoons olive oil

4-6 slices bacon, chopped into small pieces

1 large onion, peeled and chopped

2 large cloves of garlic, minced

1 leek, trimmed and sliced thinly

3 carrots, peeled and chopped

2 ribs of celery, chopped

1 zucchini, chopped

1 potato, peeled and chopped

4 cups vegetable or chicken stock, low-sodium preferred

1 15 oz. can of cooked chickpeas, drained

1 28 oz. can of peeled San Marzano tomatoes, with juice


1 cup kale, chopped fine

1 9-ounce package cheese tortellini (frozen works well)

Aged balsamic vinegar, for drizzling- optional

Grated parmesan cheese for garnish- optional


Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.

Add the bacon and cook for about 5-8 minutes, or until well-browned and starting to crisp.

Add another tablespoon olive oil to the pan (if the rendered bacon fat is sufficient, skip the oil; if the bacon fat is excessive, remove all but two tablespoons), then the chopped onion, garlic and leek.

Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, over medium heat until softened, about 3-4 minutes.

Add the chopped carrot, celery, zucchini, potato and stir occasionally for about 3 minutes, leaving the vegetables still slightly crisp.

Add the stock, the chickpeas, and then the tomatoes, crushing them with your hands as you go.

Add a few generous pinches of salt to taste.

Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 30-40 minutes, until the 
potatoes are just tender.

Add the kale and the tortellini, and continue to cook over a simmer until both are tender and 
cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes.

Taste and add more salt if necessary.

Serve garnished with a spoonful of the pesto, a few drops of the aged balsamic, and a 
generous sprinkling of grated Parmesan cheese, if desired.


Since I did do some things a little differently than the original, this time the above directions are 
with my changes. See the link above all that if you’d like to try it from the original recipe. As they 
suggest, you could leave the bacon out entirely if you wish.

We didn’t use the balsamic as a garnish, but, again, the parm and pesto were insanely good 
and well worth the extra effort to chop and grate, all from scratch and fresh ingredients.

The kale is not really noticeable at one cup chopped, so if you’re a big fan of the stuff (love it 
personally), a little more wouldn’t hurt. 

Start with an extra quarter cup and see what suits you.

Read more and enjoy this amazing recipe and many more when visiting fullforkahead

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