Main Dish Minestrone

As you may have surmised from my earlier post, Stone Soup, these quarantine days make me feel like making soup. Especially because it keeps raining, which I am thankful for. We need more rain, February was especially dry, and none of us here in California wants to head from a Coronavirus Quarantine into a dry fire season. Plus, when it is gray and cold out it feels nice to stay in and cook, a bonus when you have to stay in anyway.

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So today it is Minestrone on the menu! This is my own particular blend, with possibly too much sausage if you do not have a 17 year old boy in the house who will be siphoning off much of the meat into his own bowl when it comes time to dish up. We have made it many times over the years, and I can assure you it is both easy to prepare and freezes up beautifully for another dinner a few weeks down the line. If you have time, make it in the morning or even a day or two ahead as it tastes best when the flavors have had a little bit of extra time to meld.

I use Pacific Foods Bone Broth for all my soups. I find the bone broth is just a little bit richer than chicken broth. I am sure it would be better if I made my own, but self acceptance is the key to happiness and getting dinner on the table! And with canned tomatoes I use Muir Glenn whenever possible, they are not always easy to find, especially the petite dice which is really nice in soup.

Cover partially and simmer until the green beans are “crisp tender”

This is the perfect spot to hold your soup for a bit. Today, I am just keeping it on the stove with the flame off for an hour or so. If I had time I might cool it completely, then add the zucchini and spinach and move to the fridge for a day or two. The point is, you want to give the soup time to come together flavor wise while not overcooking the squash. And I always add the spinach last to maintain that beautiful bright green color!

It is fine to add whole spinach leaves, they will wilt down to spoon size bites within a few minutes

Once the spinach is wilted and the veggies are tender the soup is ready to serve. We like to serve with Caesar salad and Dad’s Famous Garlic Bread!

Main Dish Minestrone

Hearty soup for a chilly night
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 30 mins

Ingredients

  • 1 pound mild Italian sausage
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 2 bay leaf
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 2 tsp basil
  • 2 carrots diced
  • 1 cup green beans cut into 1 inch sections
  • 3 cloves garlic minced or pressed
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 1 can cannellini beans rinsed and drained
  • 1 can diced tomatoes do not drain
  • 1 zucchinni diced
  • 1 yellow squash diced
  • 2 cups fresh spinach leaves

Instructions

  • Brown sausage in olive oil in large Dutch Oven or other soup pot. Set aside to drain, reserving oil in pot.
  • Saute onion until soft. Add herbs and saute for 1-2 minutes.
  • Add green beans, carrots, and garlic. Saute for 1 minute, or until garlic is fragrant.
  • Add broth, beans, tomatoes, and sausage. Simmer, partially covered, until green beans are just beginning to soften, about 20-25 minutes.
  • Add zucchini, yellow squash, and spinach. Simmer until vegetable are soft but not overcooked.

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