What is better than a bowl of homemade soup on a cold, stormy night? Not much, I say! We just got up from the dinner table (I haven't even done the dishes yet), and I couldn't wait to share tonight's tried-and-true, family-favorite recipe with you. This easy Minestrone Soup was slightly adapted (by me) from the original recipe in the Williams-Sonoma Kids Cook cookbook. Serve it with shredded Parmesan on top and a hunk of crusty bread. Mmmm...
Minestrone Soup (serves 6)
1 medium carrot, diced
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2 celery stalks, sliced
1/2 lb. ground sausage (*)
1 T. olive oil
1 medium zucchini, diced
4 cups water
4 t. Better Than Bouillon (chicken flavor) (**)
1 - 28oz. can crushed tomatoes
1 c. dark red kidney beans, drained
1/3 c. dry whole-wheat pasta shells (medium sized)
1/2 t. dried oregano
In soup pot, saute in oil the carrot, onion, celery, and sausage, until sausage is cooked through and vegetables are tender. In a large measuring cup, combine the water and Better Than Bouillon and whisk together. Add to pot, along with rest of ingredients. Bring to a boil, and reduce to medium and simmer for 10 minutes or until pasta shells are just al dente. Serve in soup bowls with Parmesan cheese on top.
(*) I use Jimmy Dean ALL NATURAL pork sausage in the tube, which contains no MSG or artificial ingredients.
(**) My friend Kari got me hooked on using Better Than Bouillon instead of canned broth when we were cooking pots and pots of soup for the Senior Center last summer. She is right: the flavor is much richer and more savory than the canned stuff.