courtesy of A Fork in the Trail

Dehydration Time: 7–10 hours
Serves 4 to 6

This hearty and flavorful minestrone has been one of my family’s favorites for years. Serve this one pot wonder with a piece of garlic bannock.

1 tablespoon olive oil
5 thin slices pancetta, chopped (optional)
1 onion, chopped
2 medium carrots, chopped
1 russet potato, peeled and cubed
1 celery stalk, chopped
2 tablespoons celery leaves, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups canned diced tomatoes (with juice)
1 tablespoon parsley
1 sprig fresh rosemary
1-ounce rind of Parmesan cheese
1 pound Swiss chard, stemmed and chopped
2 cups plus ½ cup low-sodium beef or vegetable stock
2 cups cannellini or white kidney beans, drained and rinsed
Salt and pepper to taste
Parmesan cheese (optional)

At Home: In a large pot sauté the pancetta (if using) in the olive oil until it is crisp. Remove the pancetta and set aside. Pour the onions, carrots, potatoes, and celery in the pot and stir. Cook until the onions are translucent. Add the celery leaves and garlic and sauté for another minute. Add the tomatoes, parsley, rosemary, and cheese rind and let simmer for about 10 minutes.

Add the Swiss chard and 2 cups of the stock. Purée half of the beans with the 1/2 cup remaining stock in a blender or food processor. Pour into the pot and simmer until the potatoes are cooked. Then add the remaining whole beans to the pot and heat through. Remove the cheese rind and the rosemary spring. Allow the soup to cool.

Measure the soup and write this measurement on a sticky note. Pour the soup onto lined dehydrator trays and dry for 7 to 10 hours or until no moisture remains. Put the dried soup in a ziplock freezer bag along with the sticky note.

At Camp: Add enough boiling water to the soup mix to equal the measurement on your sticky note. Do not add the water first or you will have too much liquid. Once the soup has rehydrated, heat it through and serve. Garnish the soup with some shaved Parmesan.

Tips: To make this vegetarian simple omit the pancetta. To make the recipe vegan omit the cheese rind and shaved cheese as well.

© 2007 Laurie Ann March - from A Fork in the Trail
use without the author's written permission is prohibited.

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