4 slices center cut bacon, uncooked, diced
1/2 lb ground turkey (or hamburger) optional
3 Tablespoons butter or olive oil (if not using bacon)
1 large onion, chopped
2-4 cloves of garlic, minced or pressed
6 cups of prepared vegetables (such as diced or sliced celery, carrots, green beans, mushrooms, potatoes, peas, corn, zucchini, or yellow squash, etc)
2 quarts beef broth
1 can (15 oz. kidney beans) (I didn’t use these)
1/2 teaspoon each dry basil, dry oregano and dry rosemary leaves (I used smaller amount of dry and added fresh of each of these at the end)
1 can tomato sauce (I used half a small can of tomato paste instead, it was left from another recipe)
2 large tomatoes, seeded and chopped (I used one 15 oz can of diced tomatoes in their own juice)
2/3 cup dry elbow macaroni (I used dry whole wheat angel hair pasta broken into small pieces)
2 cups shredded cabbage, chard or spinach (I used 2 large handfuls of large spinach leaves roughly chopped)
salt and pepper
Grated Parmesan Cheese
Cook minced bacon over medium/low heat to render fat, remove when crispy and set aside leaving fat in bottom of large soup pot.
Add ground turkey and break up as it begins to cook. Add onions, garlic and mushrooms and stir as they saute and begin to brown over medium/high heat. Add the rest of the vegetables and saute a few minutes. Add the tomato paste and stir to loosen browned bits on the bottom of the pan.
Add broth, dried herbs and reserved bacon and beans if using, and bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes. Add tomatoes and pasta cook for another 10 minutes. Add cabbage or spinach and cook until wilted. Add fresh herbs (if using) and remove from heat. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed.
To serve, ladle into bowls and sprinkle with grated Parmesan Cheese. Great with crusty french bread and red table wine.