Rumor has it in other parts of the country is it winter. One would never know it living in Southern California! But you don’t have to wait for cold weather to enjoy hearty, nourishing soups. I eat them all year long.
Introducing The Organic Kitchen Gluten Free Minestrone Soup with Quinoa Pasta and Pancetta.
Minestrone is a thick Italian soup that is usually made with chicken stock and any vegetables that are in season. So feel free to use whatever veggies you have on hand.
I use a thickly sliced pancetta in this soup for flavor.
Like many soups the base for our minestrone is a ‘mirepoix’ (meer-a-pwah). “Mirepoix” is a French word meaning “holy trinity”…in other words: celery, carrots and onion. But the French word is so much more dramatic, so use it and impress your friends with your bilingual…ness.
We aren’t done with the vegetables yet…we are adding more: kale, green beans, zucchini and a ton of tomatoes. (If you are worried about canned tomatoes and BPA exposure please see the links I provided below). Between all the vegetables and the chicken stock (my recipe) this soup is a nutritional powerhouse.
Last we add navy beans and gluten free pasta. I use this one made from Quinoa, a grain grown in South America (where to buy). Helpful hint: The pasta does not freeze and then thaw well. If you are planning on freezing soup before eating, freeze it without the pasta and add cooked pasta after thawing. (affiliate links)
The Recipe: Gluten Free Minestrone Soup
(Gluten Free) Minestrone Soup with Quinoa Pasta and Pancetta
15 minutes prep, 30 minutes cook time. If you are using my recipe for chicken stock you will not need to add the herbs and spices below except for the cayenne pepper. My stock is more flavorful (and better for you) than store-bought and doesn't need additional seasoning. I highly recommend homemade stock for best results...just saying'...
- 4 strips thickly sliced pancetta, cooked and chopped
- 2 medium carrots, diced
- 2 celery stalks, diced
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 10-12 green beans, trimmed and cut into 1/2" pieces
- 2 curly kale leaves, (stalks removed) chopped
- 1 28 0z can diced fire roasted tomatoes (Muir Glen Tomatoes come in BPA free cans)
- 1 14.5 oz. can crushed tomatoes (Organic Eden offers crushed tomatoes in glass jars)
- 6 cups chicken broth (my recipe linked above)
- 1 small zucchini, diced
- 1 1/2 cups quinoa pasta (or pasta of your choice)
- 1 15 oz. can navy beans (or your favorite bean)
- 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (or more if you like more of a kick)
- Sea Salt, to taste
- Freshly ground pepper (only add if using store bought stock)
- 1 T herbs de Provence (only add if using store bought stock)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced (only add if using store bought stock)
- Place Pancetta in large stock pot and cook on medium heat till done.
- Remove from pan and set on paper towels to cool, then chop.
- Add carrots, onions, celery and green beans to pot with pancetta fat. (If needed add a tablespoon of olive oil)
- Saute for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Add zucchini, kale and chopped pancetta, sauté for a few more minutes stirring often.
- Add broth and tomatoes, bring to a boil. (If using store bought stock add herbs and spices now) Once soup is boiling lower heat to a simmer and add pasta (if you are going to freeze this soup for later use leave pasta out and cooked pasta to thawed soup)).
- Cook till pasta is al dente (usually 6-9 minutes). Add navy beans and cayenne pepper, stir and serve.
I freeze soup in mason jars (affiliate link) for those busy days when I don’t have time to cook. It also comes in handy when a friend gets sick and needs a healthy meal dropped off. When freezing, make sure soup is completely cooled, fill 3/4 full and set in freezer with the lid loose. After soup is frozen tighten the lid.
~ Linda Spiker
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