Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Minestrone Soup

I have been saving up some recipes from Parade magazine. They had a Minestrone Soup recipe that I wanted to play around with. We had a huge thunderstorm last night and one was expected today and rainy, thundery days call out for homemade soup.

When we had kids I liked to make homemade bread when I made the soup, or at least biscuits, but I am trying to stay on a low carbohydrate diet so I had some multi-grain tortilla chips with quinoa, brown rice, chia and flax instead. They were really good, but no where near as good as a warm loaf of bread slathered with butter. Pardon my drooling....

Minestrone Soup

1 cup chopped onion
2 or 3 links of sweet Italian sausage, or your favorite, mine is the sweet.
1 rib celery, chopped
1 small handful of baby carrots, chopped
1 large or 2 small potatoes, peeled and diced
4 cups chicken broth
1 can diced tomatoes
1 zucchini
1/2 bunch of kale, chopped
1 can kidney beans

Heat a dutch oven with EVOO and add the onions. While they are cooking, squeeze the sausage in small balls out of the casings and drop them in the pan. Toss the left over casings. This is kind of gross and kind of satisfying. I suppose you could slice them up casings and all, but I don't. This is what I do when I go to a store that doesn't make their own sweet Italian sausage in bulk which is what I prefer.

While the meat and the onions are cooking, chop the celery and carrots and add them to the pot when the meat is browned. This will take a few minutes and you have to stir now and again to get it browned all over. I like to chop up any large bits so that there is room in every spoon for a few things and not one big chunk of sausage. Cook about 10 minutes.

Peel and dice the potatoes. Add to the pot. Keep stirring and wait about 10 minutes until the potatoes start to get tender. Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil.

Dice the zuc and add to the soup with the can of tomatoes.

Rinse and chop the kale and then add that. When the soup gets back up to a boil, reduce to a simmer and let it cook until the potatoes are soft. Drain and rinse the beans and add for a few minutes. I added a bit of s & p and some Italian herb to season, but it was pretty good even before I did that.

Serve with grated Parmesan cheese on top. And you may like to have some fancy bread from a fancy bakery with lots of garlic butter. Rub it in.

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