Preparation / Directions:
1. Cut all vegetables into bite size pieces. Set aside.
2. Peel, seed and chopp the tomato.
3. Heat the olive oil in a soup pot, add the bacon and cook to render out the fat until bacon is completely cooked.
4. Add the onions, and cook about 1 minute - do not brown.
5. Add the remaining vegetables, except spinach and cook about 2-3 minutes.
6. Add the tomato paste, stir; add the hot stock, stir.
7. Bring to a boil and skim, add the spice bag and let simmer 10 minutes.
8. Add the beans and pasta and simmer for 20 minutes.
9. Just before serving, stir in spinach, garlic puree; stir.
10. Serve with fresh chopped parsley and parmesan spinkled over top.
Notes: To peel and seed a tomato, bring a pot of water to a boil. Cut an X in the bottom of the tomato, cut out the top core. Drop tomato into boiling water, turn off heat. Watch carefully and remove tomato when the skin begins to blister.
Chiffonade = Place a bunch of spinach leaves ontop of eachother and roll up. Thinly slice.
To puree garlic by hand, chop finely, sprinkle with salt, continue to chop. Using the knife almost flat, press down and spread the garlic across the chopping board. Continue to chop and then press down and spread a second time.
If the pasta absorbs too much of the liquid, add more stock. If you like the soup to be thinner than regular minestrone, double the amount of stock at the start.