Sausage Minestrone Soup

The smells coming from your kitchen as it cooks will certainly bring folks to the kitchen asking when will it be done!

This version was inspired by this Minestrone recipe on Food52.

Serves 8 to 10

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon olive oil

3 hot italian sausages links without their casings

3/4c onions, chopped (I used shallots as I was out of onions)

10-15 cloves garlic

1 35 oz. can of diced tomatoes (mine was diced with basil)

6 cups water

1 15 oz. can of cannellini beans, rinsed well

1 15 oz. can of chick peas, rinsed well

3 teaspoons fresh thyme, chopped

2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, chopped

3 teaspoons fresh oregano, chopped

1/4-1/2 teaspoon of the chili powder of your choice (I used 1/4 teaspoon extra hot chili powder)

1/2 head of cabbage (4 cups, sliced/shredded), I prefer nappa cabbage

1 9 oz. box of frozen green beans (fresh is OF COURSE A-OK!)

1/2 cup orzo

3/4 cup red wine (I used Malbec)

1-2 teaspoons kosher salt (start with 1 and add to your taste)

1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper

Shredded Parmesan Romano (garnish)

cilantro/parsley, chopped (garnish)

scallions (garnish)

In a dutch oven, heat the olive oil until hot and add the sausage. Cook sausage breaking up as it cooks. Remove the sausage from pan once cooked and set aside. In the same pan, add the onion (shallots) and garlic, cooking over medium heat until the onions grow translucent. Feel free to add a little water to loosen the browned sausage bits as the onion cooks.

Once cooked, add the can of tomatoes, water, cannellini beans and chick peas along with the fresh chopped herbs and the spices. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low and simmer for 25 minutes.

Add the remaining ingredients, including the sausage, and cook for 15 minutes until the orzo is just cooked. This will be a rather thick soup. Not quite I stew, but a thick and hearty soup.

Serve in bowls with shaved Parmesan Romano, chopped cilantro/parsley and scallions on top.

The vegetables above can be changed out for others including peas, pea pods, zucchini, summer squash, pinto beans, kidney beans etc.

The wine adds a little richness to the flavor of the broth, but you can omit if you haven't any handy. (Or my preference, pop a bottle open and use the rest for dinner!)

Recipe created by Kimberli of Kimberli’s Kitchen.