Jefferson Adams is a freelance writer living in San Francisco. His poems, essays and photographs have appeared in Antioch Review, Blue Mesa Review, CALIBAN, Hayden's Ferry Review, Huffington Post, the Mississippi Review, and Slate among others.
He is a member of both the National Writers Union, the International Federation of Journalists, and covers San Francisco Health News for Examiner.com.
This vegetable bacon soup is so rich and hearty it resembles a stew. Savory bacon, chunky vegetables, beans, parmesan rind and chard deliver big, bold flavors.
For many years now, every winter I've made this vegetable bacon soup that is so rich and hearty it resembles a stew. Savory bacon, chunky vegetables, beans, Parmesan rind and chard deliver big, bold flavors. This recipe owes a debt of gratitude to Ina Garten, The Barefoot Contessa's, Winter Minestrone recipe for the inspired addition of pesto.
In a large, heavy soup pot, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat
Add pancetta and cook over medium-low heat until lightly browned.
Add shallots, carrots, celery, squash, garlic, and thyme and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for about ten minutes, until the vegetables begin to soften.
Add Parmesan cheese rind, tomatoes, 6 cups of the chicken stock, the bay leaf, rosemary sprig, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1½ teaspoons pepper.
Bring pot to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.
Discard the bay leaf and rosemary sprig.
Add the beans and heat until simmering.
The soup should be nice and thick. If it’s too thick, add more chicken stock. If you want it thicker, let it cook a bit longer.
Add the chard and cook until the leaves are tender. Stir in the white wine and the pesto.
Salt as needed.
Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, drizzle with olive oil, and serve hot.