Minestrone with Sausage

Soup season is officially here in Minnesota. Weather is turning cold so nothing warms the bones like a good bowl of soup! This is my first go at Minestrone and it turned out quite tasty. I use breakfast sausage as that is what Kris and I prefer. You can use Italian sausage as well.Gather up your pantry ingredients and prepare to cook!You will also need to chop up some veggies for this soup. There are lots of recipes out there but this one will be my go to.First thing is to cook the sausage and onion in a soup pot. Cook until sausage is no longer pink, drain.Add carrots, celery, leek and garlic. Cook for about 3 minutes. Now add zucchini and green beans. Cook for another 2 minutes.Stir in broth, tomatoes, cabbage basil, oregano and pepper. Bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 45 minutes. Return to boil and add in pasta, garbanzo beans and parsley. Cook 6-9 minutes or until pasta is tender. Now serve in a large bowl with some freshly grated parmesan cheese. Cheers!!

1 pound breakfast sausage
1 large onion, chopped
2 large carrots, chopped
2 celery ribs, chopped
1 medium leek (white portion only), chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/4 pound fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
6 cups beef broth
2 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) diced tomatoes with basil, oregano and garlic
3 cups shredded cabbage
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 can (15 ounces) garbanzo beans or chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup uncooked small pasta shells
3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

In a soup kettle, cook sausage and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in the carrots, celery, leek and garlic; cook for 3 minutes. Add zucchini and green beans; cook 2 minutes longer.
Stir in broth, tomatoes, cabbage, basil, oregano and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 45 minutes.
Return to a boil. Stir in the garbanzo beans, pasta and parsley. Cook for 6-9 minutes or until pasta is tender. Serve with Parmesan cheese. Yield: 11 servings (about 3 quarts).


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