Green Minestrone

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Serves 4

• 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

• 4 slices pancetta or 1/4 pound thick cut prosciutto, chopped

• 1 medium onion, chopped

• 2 ribs celery, chopped

• 2 large cloves garlic, crushed

• 1 medium zucchini, diced

• 1 bay leaf, fresh or dried

• 1 can white beans, cannellini

• 1 can garbanzo beans

• Salt and freshly ground black pepper

• 8 cups chicken broth or stock

• 1 cup ditalini pasta or mini penne pasta

• 1/2 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces

• 10 ounces triple washed spinach, stems removed and coarsely chopped, or any other dark greens

• 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Romano, plus extra to pass at the table

• 12 to 16 leaves fresh basil, torn or shredded or 1/4 cup chopped parsley leaves

Heat a soup pot over medium heat, and add oil and pancetta or prosciutto. Sauté 2 minutes, then add onions, celery, garlic, zucchini, and bay leaf. Season with salt and pepper and sauté 5 minutes, stirring often.

Add canned beans and stock, then cover and bring to a boil.

Once boiling, add pasta and green beans and cook 8 minutes, until pasta just tender. Add spinach until wilted, 1 minute. Stir in grated cheese.

Ladle into bowls and top with herbs and additional cheese before serving.

Source: – Rachel Ray Recipes

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