Dinner with Kirsten

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Easy Minestrone Soup

November 4th, 2008 · 81 Comments

Minestrone Soup

I love minestrone soup, and this version is quick, easy and healthy, making it a perfect weeknight meal. You can mix and match different seasonal vegetables and make it with or without meat, but don’t leave out the kale.

I didn’t even realize I liked kale until I tried this recipe. This member of the cabbage family and a close relative of broccoli does not look very appetizing, with curly rough leaves. But the hearty greens add great flavor and texture to this soup, and it’s a super nutritious cancer-fighting food.

I’ve made this recipe several times, using both fresh and frozen vegetables of all kinds. Use whatever is most convenient and freshest, and don’t be afraid to experiment. I usually buy a whole wheat baguette or other crusty bread to serve with this.

Easy Minestrone Soup
Adapted from Gourmet

3 Italian pork sausages (regular or hot), cut out of casings
1/4 cup olive oil
1 small onion, coarsely chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced or crushed
4 pound washed and cut kale (6 cups)
1 yellow squash, sliced
1 large carrot, sliced
1 cup fresh green beans, cleaned and snapped in half
(Or, just add a 1-pound bag frozen mixed Italian vegetables such as zucchini, green beans, cauliflower, and broccoli)
1 (14 1/2-oz) can diced tomatoes in juice
1 cup small pasta, such as elbow macaroni
4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
3 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt (taste it!)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 (19-oz) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
Serve with grated Parmesan cheese and a loaf of crusty bread

Heat oil in a large heavy pot over moderately high heat, then add sausage and cook until no longer pink. Add onion and garlic and cook until golden, about 3 minutes. Add kale (along with any other fresh vegetables) and sauté, stirring, 1 minute. Add frozen vegetables, tomatoes with juice, pasta, broth, water, salt, and pepper and simmer, uncovered, for about 10 minutes, until vegetables are tender and pasta is al dente.

While that’s simmering, put half the beans into a bowl and coarsely mash with a fork. Then stir mashed and whole beans into soup and simmer, stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes more, until soup is slightly thickened. Taste it and season with more salt and pepper. Grate Parmesan cheese over top while serving.

Tags: dinner · italian · quick fix · recipes

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