My husband is of the opinion that soup is only dinner worthy if it has meat in it. This is my version of Minestrone soup that is hearty enough for him and I have to agree that the sausage added a deeper flavor and a bit of spice to the soup. Remember when Rachael Ray used to call these types of recipes stoups? A cross between a soup and a stew....that's what this is.
To make the Minestrone soup a bit easier, I took a few shortcuts. Using my food processor on pulse made it much easier to chop up the onion, garlic, carrots and celery. I used precooked sweet italian sausage that I had in my freezer. This is a great timesaver....buy the biggest package of sausage; sweet, spicy or a combination. Cook them and freeze in storage bags. You will always have the beginning to a quick meal.
Having always read that pastas do not do well in the freezer, I hesitantly froze the leftover soup. I tend to agree and have found many to be mushy in frozen soups. This one surprisingly did fine; I did undercook the ditalini a bit. The reheated soup was delicious and even more flavorful!Print
A hearty minestrone soup filled with lots of vegetables and italian sausage.
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 stalks celery, diced
2 large carrots, diced
2 cups green beans, cut in ½ inch pieces
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
salt and pepper to taste
1 28 once can diced tomatoes
1 28 once can crushed tomatoes
6 cups chicken and/or vegetable broth
1 15 once can low sodium kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2 - 3 Italian sausages, sweet and/or hot, pan fried and sliced
1 ½ cups ditalini pasta
parmesan cheese, shaved or grated
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, optional
Heat olive oil in large pot over medium high heat. Pan fry the sausages and slice them, set aside. Add onion to the sausage drippings and cook until translucent. Add garlic, celery and carrots and cook about 5 minutes more. Stir in the green beans, spices and salt and pepper. Continue cooking until all flavor are combined, about 3 minutes or so.
Add in the tomatoes and broth and cooked sausages and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes. Stir in kidney beans and pasta and cook until pasta is just tender, about 8 - 10 minutes. Add more salt and pepper to taste.
Serve the soup with parmesan cheese and chopped basil if desired.
*Recipe adapted from Food Network Magazine
Keywords: Sausage Minestrone Soup