Minestrone

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Overview
Like most of what I make, I doubt this is authentic. A quick poke around the internet suggests most people use chicken stock – I’ve always used bacon stock. This makes a enough for massive stock pot – feed a crowd or freeze leftovers. If you’re missing some ingredients, just improvise and use what’s on hand.

Time
2+ hours (plus time to make stock, if there is none ready)

Ingredients
60g (approx) butter
2 large onions, diced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 large carrots, diced
6 sticks of celery, chopped
6 shiitake mushrooms, diced
2 large bay leaves
2 TB Italian herb mix
1 swede, diced
2 large potatoes, diced
1 zucchini, diced
1 parsnip, diced
12-15 green beans, chopped
½ cup frozen or fresh peas
50g grated pecarino cheese, or 1 whole rind
1 TB umami stock concentrate
1 tin tomatoes
1 tin condensed tomato soup
1 700ml bottle of passata
1-2 cups of pork/ham/bacon meat (removed from stock bones)
1 tin cannellini beans
1 tin butter beans
3½ – 4 L bacon stock (or chicken, beef)
½ cup pearl barley
1 ½ cups elbow pasta

Equipment
Large stock pot

Method
1 – Melt the butter in the stockpot

2 – Add onions, garlic, celery, mushrooms and herbs and cook until onions are clear

3 – Add remaining vegetables, cheese and umami concentrate. Allow to cook down for 5-10 minutes.

4 – Add beans, tomatoes, tomato soup, passata and meat. Allow to cook for 5-10 minutes.

5 – Add stock. Cook for at least 30 minutes.

6 – Add barley and pasta 30 minutes before the soup is finished.

Serve garnished with freshly chopped parsley.