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Minestrone

Cook 2 boneless chicken breasts until done, then dice and set aside.

In a large soup pot, heat 2 Tblsp EVOO and 4 slices of bacon, chopped, until the bacon fat is rendered.

Add 1 onion, chopped, 1 carrot, peeled and chopped, 2 celery stalks, minced, 1 tsp dried rosemary and 3 cloves garlic, minced, and cook until the onion is translucent.

Add 1 can "Italian-style" diced tomatoes (don't drain) and cook for 5 minutes.

Drain and rinse 1 can of pinto beans and 1 can of garbanzo beans, then mash half of each.  Add them to the pot along with 10 cups of chicken stock and 2 tsp salt.  Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.  Then add the diced chicken breast and 1 cup frozen corn.  Raise the temperature and bring the soup back to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

Stir in about 4 ounces of small pasta (orzo, meloni, small shells or broken up spaghetti) and simmer for 15 minutes (the pasta should be done).

Ladle into bowls and top with freshly ground pepper and grated Parmesan cheese and serve with fresh bread.

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