Minestrone Soup

I’ve been getting red peppers like crazy from the CSA!  This soup was born out of the need to use them up in addition to loving the roasted red pepper taste they provide.  This is also an awesome recipe to consider for using any homemade chicken stock you may have in the freezer.  Homemade stock has so many healing properties to it, that it should be a staple in every family home.  That is where the whole idea of having chicken soup when you’re sick comes from!  Unfortunately, those boxed stocks from the store don’t have all the components that you get in homemade.  It’s definitely worth the effort!  Also, my soup has chickpeas in it because when I took all that time to soak them for hummus, I put a couple containers in the freezer.  You could easily leave out the beans….or take the time to soak them as a healthy addition.
I adapted this recipe from one of the greats: Racheal Ray.  I did mine a little bit different, but I definitely used hers as a template.
4 slices of pastured bacon, chopped
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 carrots, chopped
4 stalks celery, chopped
1 poblano pepper, seeded and minced
1 bay leaf
1-2 cups of soaked chickpeas
4 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves removed and chopped
2 sprigs fresh oregano, leaves removed and chopped
1/2 cup homemade tomato sauce
1/4 cup dry white wine
6-8 cups of homemade chicken stock
4 roasted red peppers (or a jar), pureed
salt and pepper

In a large stockpot, brown the bacon until all the fat is rendered and the bacon is browned.  Add in the onions, carrots, celery, garlic and herbs.  Add a pinch of salt and Salt and pepper.  Cook for 7-8 minutes until the veggies softened.  Deglaze the bottom of the pan by adding the wine and scraping the browned bits off of the bottom.  Add in the beans, chicken stock, tomato sauce, and pureed roasted red peppers. Let simmer until everything is warmed through and incorporated.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Top each bowl with a drizzle of olive oil!

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