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, like this Gluten Free Minestrone with Pancetta!
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Gluten Free Minestrone with Pancetta: A Beautiful, Veggie Packed Soup!
Minestrone traditionally has a tomato and stock base, lots of vegetables and sometimes meat or pasta. Mine has both, making it hearty and filling!
Pancetta is basically bacon with a sexy Italian accent. I use a thickly sliced pancetta in this soup, it adds so much flavor and I love that salty ‘bite’!
Get Bilingual with Those Veggies
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 elegant, so use it and impress your friends with your bilingual…ness.
We aren’t done with the vegetables yet…we are adding more: green beans, zucchini and a ton of tomatoes. Between all the vegetables and the chicken stock (my recipe) this soup is a nutritional powerhouse.
The Pasta: Gluten Free or Not, It’s Up to You!
If you live without gluten you don’t have to miss out on exceptional pasta! Jovial gluten free elbow macaroni is the best I have found! I am lucky enough to live by a store that carries it, but if you aren’t as lucky, you can order it here! The best thing about Jovial pasta (besides the taste and texture) is that the grains are soaked for easy digestion. That’s a really great and rare thing for a store bought pasta!
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.
The Recipe: Gluten Free Minestrone Soup
Fresh, veggie centric Minestrone in 45 minutes!
- 4 strips thickly sliced pancetta, cooked and chopped
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
- 2 celery stalks, diced
- 1 small yellow onion, peeled and diced
- 1/2 cup green beans, trimmed and cut into 1/2" pieces
- 1 28oz can diced fire roasted tomatoes, (Muir Glen Tomatoes come in BPA free cans)
- 1 14.5oz. can crushed tomatoes
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 1 small zucchini, diced
- 1 1/2 cups your choice of macaroni or penne pasta (see my gluten free suggestion in post above)
- 1 15 oz. can navy beans (can sub with peas if desired)
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or more if you like more of a kick
- Freshly ground pepper
- 1 Tablespoon herbs de Provence
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- Sea Salt, to taste
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, chopped pancetta, sauté for a few more minutes stirring often.
Add broth, tomatoes, garlic and spices, bring to a boil. 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 until pasta is al dente (usually 6-9 minutes). Add navy beans and cayenne pepper, stir and sea salt to taste, serve.
MAY I PLEASE ASK A LITTLE FAVOR?
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