My mom made this soup on Super Bowl Sunday and it was delicious! It looks like it is spendy to make, but very tasty!
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 ounce pancetta, chopped (5 to 6 thin slices)
1 1/2 cups chopped green cabbage
1 cup chopped onions
1 cup sliced carrots
1/4 cup chopped celery
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 quarts chicken broth
1/2 cup peeled, diced potato
1 piece parmesan cheese rind (3 inches square)
3/4 cup vermicelli or angel-hair pasta (broken into 2-inch pieces)
1/2 cup chopped plum tomatoes, peeled and seeded
1/4 cup cooked chickpeas (drained and rinsed if using canned)
1/3 cup cooked kidney beans (drained and rinsed if canned)
1/3 cup pesto
1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
1/4 teaspoon pepper or to taste
Freshly grated parmesan cheese
To cook vegetables: In soup pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add pancetta. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until fat melts. (Note: Do not allow pancetta to brown.) Add cabbage, onions, carrots, celery and garlic. Cook for 6 to 8 minutes or until onions are translucent. Add broth, potatoes and parmesan cheese rind. Bring to a simmer. Cook for 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender. (Note: Don't overcook them.)
To cook pasta: Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions until tender. Drain.
To assemble: When vegetables are tender, remove and discard parmesan rind. Add cooked vermicelli, tomatoes, chickpeas and kidney beans. Season to taste with pesto, salt and pepper.
Serve with grated parmesan cheese.