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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:

For the herb swirl:


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