Radicchio Minestrone

Photo and Recipe by Tod Dimmick

In this simple soup, sweet tomato pairs with bitter radicchio for flavor fireworks.

Prep time:  10 minutes
Cook time:  20 minutes
Serves:  4

3 strips bacon
1 small onion, 1/4 inch dice
1 jalapeno or other hot pepper, cleaned of membrane and seeds, minced
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
3-4 cups coarsely chopped radicchio
1 large tomato, chopped
1 cup marinara sauce
2 tsp. Italian Seasoning
1-2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
Shredded Parmesan for garnish

Cook the bacon to your liking in the bottom of a stock pot over medium heat.  Remove bacon to drain, and pour off most of the bacon fat.  Add a little olive oil, and cook the onion and jalapeno for 5 minutes, stirring, or until onion is tender and turning tan.  Reduce heat to medium-low, add the stock, radicchio, tomato, marinara, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper, and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Distribute to serving bowls, sprinkling with crumbled bacon and Parmesan.

Variation:  If you’re using vegetable stock, just omit the bacon for a vegetarian dish.  And in the other, non-vegetarian direction, the addition of cooked Italian sausage instead of, or even in addition to, the bacon adds flavor and richness.

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