Hearty Minestrone Soup

Difficulty: easy Prep Time: 20 Total Time: 60
3 slices bacon, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 1/2 cups cabbage, chopped
4 cups water
3 cans chicken broth
1 large can diced tomatoes, with liquid
1 cup mini pasta shells
1 can red or white kidney beans, drained and rinsed
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tbsp Italian parsley, chopped (fresh or dried)
Parmesan cheese, grated

In a large soup pot, cook bacon until crisp. Add onion, carrot, celery and cabbage. Cook, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Stir in water, broth and tomatoes with liquid; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes. Stir in shells and cook, uncovered, 15 minutes longer. Stir beans, garlic and parsley into soup and cook for an additional 10-15 minutes. Serve topped with Parmesan cheese. Serves 6-8.