Everyone has their own version for Minestrone Soup. Its such an easy soup to customize based on what veggies and meats that you have. Its also very hearty and freezes really well!!! I decided to make this soup a couple of weeks ago when the weather was still pretty cold and we needed something to warm us up! I also had a big bunch of Swiss chard that needed to be used!
In a large heavy bottomed pan fry up about a half cup of chopped panchetta until crispy. Remove the cooked panchetta and set aside.
In the same pot add 1lb of ground sausage (no casing). Brown this as well and remove, set aside with the panchetta.
Again, same pot (with the panchetta and sausage drippings still in it) add 1 Chopped Onion, 3 Celery Stalks chopped, 3 Carrots chopped, and 3 cloves of garlic, minced. Season with salt and pepper. Saute over Medium high heat.
Once the Onions start to turn a light brown add 3 cubed potatoes and a generous couple of handfuls of chopped Swiss chard.
Add 1 large can of chopped tomato's, a bay leaf, and 1 Tbsp each of Basil, Oregano and Thyme.
Lower the heat to Medium low and add 6 Cups Low Sodium Chicken Stock and 6 Cups of water plus 1/2 cup of heavy cream.
Add back your Pork and Panchetta and throw in a Parmesan Cheese rind. Allow to simmer for about 30 Minutes or until Potato is cooked through. Add your pasta and turn off the heat. The heat of the soup should cook the pasta in about 10 Minutes. Test for seasoning and add more salt/pepper if needed
Serve with fresh shaved Parmesan cheese!