Recipe courtesy of Michele Urvater

Bean and Vegetable Soup, First Time Around

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr
  • Prep: 15 min
  • Cook: 45 min
  • Yield: 8 servings
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Ingredients

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

4 slices bacon, diced

2 medium onions, finely diced

1 stalk celery, finely diced

2 carrots, finely diced

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 large zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch dice (2 cups)

14-ounce can (or 2 cups) canned plum tomatoes, chopped

1/2 head small savoy cabbage, cut into 1-inch pieces or finely sliced

2 cups washed spinach leaves, chopped roughly

2 cans (16 ounces each) white beans; rinsed and drained; one can pureed, the can of beans left whole

1/2 cup stemmed washed basil leaves cut into strips

4 cups chicken broth, preferably homemade

4 cups water

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

About 1/2 cup grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese

Directions

  1. Heat olive oil and bacon and cook until bacon bits are almost crisp. Add onions, celery and carrots and saute for about 10 minutes or until soft. Add the garlic, zucchini, tomatoes, cabbage, spinach and cook for about 10 minutes longer or until wilted. (If vegetables begin to stick, add some water.) Add the bean puree and whole beans, basil, broth, water and 1 teaspoon of salt. Bring liquid to a boil, and simmer, over low heat, stirring on occasion, for 20 minutes. Season well to taste with salt and pepper and ladle into hot deep bowls. Garnish with grated cheese to taste.
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