MY FIRST ENCOUNTER WITH MINESTRONE SOUP INVOLVED POURING A POWDER OUT OF A PACKET INTO A BOWL AND ADDING HOT WATER. I AM GLAD TO SAY MY PALATE IS A BIT MORE REFINED THESE DAYS. IT IS VERY SATISFYING TO MAKE THIS SOUP FROM SCRATCH.
Cut the pork belly into 2 or 3 large pieces (so it will fit inside a large cooking pot) and remove any excess fat. Place a large cooking pot over a high heat and add a drizzle of vegetable oil. When hot, add the pork belly and sear on all sides, colouring it evenly. Remove to a large plate and set aside.
Reduce the heat to medium and add the onion, bay leaf, th