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Minestrone Milanese

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Serves: 6
2 tbsp olive oil
55g / 2 oz rind-less pancetta or streaky bacon, diced
2 onions, sliced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 carrots, chopped
2 celery sticks, chopped
225g / 8 oz dried haricot beans, soaked in cold water to cover for
400g / 14 oz canned chopped tomatoes
2 litres / 3 1/2 pints beef stock
350g / 12 oz potatoes, diced
175g / 6 oz dried pepe bucato, macaroni to serve or other soup pasta
175g / 6 oz green beans, sliced
115g l 4 oz fresh or frozen peas
225 gl8 oz Savoy cabbage, shredded
3 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
 fresh Parmesan cheese shavings, to serve
salt and pepper

Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan. Add the pancetta, onions and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.

Add the carrots and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, for a further 5 minutes, or until all the vegetables are softened.

Drain the haricot beans and add them to the saucepan with the tomatoes and their can juices and the beef stock. Bring to the boil. reduce the heat. cover and leave to simmer for 1 hour.

Add the potatoes, re-cover and cook for 15 minutes, then add the pasta, green beans, peas, cabbage and parsley. Cover and cook for a further 15 minutes, or until all the vegetables are tender. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle into warmed soup bowls and serve immediately with Parmesan cheese shavings.

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