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Minestrone with Turkey Bacon and Herb Swirl

Minestrone Recipe

Chock-full of vegetables, speckled with savory turkey bacon and brightened with a verdant dollop of basil and parsley puree, this minestrone satisfies on so many levels. We like to cook the pasta separately from the soup, but if you like a thicker minestrone, add the dried pasta to the soup once the lentils are tender.

Serves 4 to 6 | Total Time: Less Than 60 Mins


For the soup:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 (8-ounce) package Applegate Naturals® Turkey Bacon, chopped
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ small green cabbage, cored and chopped
  • 1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup lentils
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 cup ditalini or macaroni
  • 2 small zucchini, chopped

For the herb swirl:

  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves
  • ½ cup fresh parsley leaves
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil


To make the soup:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the chopped bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, 8 to 10 minutes.
  2. Add the carrots, celery, onions and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 8 to 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Add cabbage, tomatoes, lentils and water and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat and simmer gently until lentils are soft, about 30 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, cook the ditalini in a small pot of salted boiling water until al dente. Drain and set aside.
  5. When the lentils are soft, add the zucchini and simmer until tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in the cooked ditalini, season to taste with salt and pepper and serve with the herb swirl on the side.

To make the herb swirl: 

  1. Combine the herbs, Parmesan and olive oil in a small food processor or blender. (Alternatively, use an immersion blender.) 
  2. Blend until smooth