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Italian Sausage Minestrone

This no-fuss minestrone is perfect family fare on chilly days. Feeling daring? Substitute a can of butter beans or pinto beans for one of the cans of cannellini beans. I serve it with warm with crusty French bread for dipping into the broth.—Elizabeth Renteria, Vancouver, Washington
  • Total Time
    Prep: 20 min. + freezing Cook: 1-1/4 hours
  • Makes
    13 servings (3-1/4 quarts)

Ingredients

  • 1 pound bulk Italian sausage
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 7 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cans (15 ounces each) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) fire-roasted diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 cup ditalini or other small pasta
  • Shredded or shaved Parmesan cheese

Directions

  • In a Dutch oven, cook sausage over medium heat until no longer pink; drain.
  • In the same pan, saute the carrots, celery, onion and garlic in oil until tender. Stir in the broth, beans, tomatoes, bay leaves, Italian seasoning, tomato paste and sausage. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 30 minutes, adding pasta during the last 6-8 minutes. Cook, uncovered, until pasta is tender.
  • Freeze option: Before adding pasta, cool soup. Freeze soup and cheese separately in freezer containers for up to 3 months. To use, partially thaw in refrigerator overnight. Place in a Dutch oven. Bring to a boil. Stir in pasta; return to a boil. Reduce heat; cook, uncovered, for 6-8 minutes or until pasta is tender. Serve with cheese.
Nutrition Facts
1 cup: 280 calories, 15g fat (4g saturated fat), 27mg cholesterol, 828mg sodium, 25g carbohydrate (4g sugars, 4g fiber), 12g protein.

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