I took this recipe from the Winnipeg Free Press Recipe Swap (November 23rd, 2011). I’ve never had the original version of this soup, but according to the article it’s supposed to be like the soup served at Ciao. This soup is really good and super easy to make. I used chicken bacon instead of real bacon. The fake bacon doesn’t crumble like bacon, so I just diced it. I also used 6 cups of packaged chicken broth instead of the cans. I also used all fresh herbs and fresh spinach.
1 x 796ml (28oz) can diced tomatoes
2 x 398ml (14oz) cans Great Northern beans (or cannellini or white kidney beans), drained and rinsed well
3 x 284ml (10oz) cans chicken broth
750 ml (3 cups) water
1 x 213ml (8oz) can tomato sauce
1 x 398ml (14oz) can chopped spinach, drained, or about 250ml (1 cup) fresh chopped spinach, added just before serving
8 slices bacon, cooked until crisp and crumbled
5 ml (1 tsp) garlic powder, or 15ml (1 tbsp) minced garlic
15 ml (1 tbsp) dried parsley, or 45ml (3 tbsp) fresh, chopped
2 ml (1/2 tsp) dried basil, or 10ml (2 tsp) fresh, chopped
7 ml (1 1/2 tsp) salt
2 ml (1/2 tsp) black pepper
250 g (about 500ml or 2 cups) seashell pasta or macaroni
Romano or Parmesan cheese, for garnish
1. In a very large pot, heat diced tomatoes, beans, chicken broth, tomato sauce, canned spinach, (if using fresh spinach, add only before serving), bacon, garlic, herbs and seasonings. Simmer for about 20 minutes until flavours merge. Add pasta and cook uncovered on medium until pasta is tender, about 8-10 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning, if desired. Serve with grated Romano or Parmesan cheese.