Minestrone with Turkey Bacon and Herb Swirl
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.
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:
- 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.
- Add the carrots, celery, onions and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 8 to 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
- Add cabbage, tomatoes, lentils and water and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat and simmer gently until lentils are soft, about 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cook the ditalini in a small pot of salted boiling water until al dente. Drain and set aside.
- 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:
- Combine the herbs, Parmesan and olive oil in a small food processor or blender. (Alternatively, use an immersion blender.)
- Blend until smooth