This hearty minestrone soup is both easy to make and is pretty healthy. What I love about this recipe is that you can have more liquid my adding more chicken stalk and the juice from the canned , crushed tomatoes (use whole tomatoes and crush them yourself)! Leaving out a vegetable or changing the type of beans doesn’t seen to affect the outcome. This is a great recipe to make your own with the types of ingredients you and your family love.
2 quarts chicken stock.
1 head garlic or 1/2 tsp minced garlic from jar
1 box of rigatoni or penne pasta
8 fresh sage leaves
1 sprig rosemary
1 sprig thyme
2 bay leaves
3/4 pound loose sweet Italian pork sausage
3/4 pound cooked, cut chicken
1 chopped medium onion
2-3 stalk of celery chopped
4 medium carrots chopped
1 can french cut green beans
2 28oz can crushed tomatoes
1 can cannelloni beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup lentil beans
coarsely ground black pepper.
To make hotter: substitute Hot Italian Pork for the sweet
Consider: A dash or two of crushed red peppers
In big sauce pot combine the chicken stock and garlic. Simmer for 15-20 minutes to release the garlic flavor.
In saucepan or frying pan add the oil and cook the on medium to high head the onion until slightly brown. Remove the onion to the side.
In the same pan cook the sausage all the way through.
Add the sausage, chicken, spices and crushed tomatoes to the chicken stock pot and begin to cook over medium heat for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Cook the pasta in a pot of boiling and salted water for 6-8 minutes. Drain and add to the soup. Add the onion, chopped celery, chopped carrots, can of french style green beans, and lentils.
Simmer for 2 – 3 hours. Taste along the way. This is where you can decide to add salt or crushed red peppers.
Final Tip: You can always serve with garlic toast. Take a baguette of for favorite flavor, cut into 1/2-3/4″ slices. Arrange flat on a cookie sheet (perhaps cover with foil first – makes clean up real easy). Pour a little olive oil on each piece, sprinkle with garlic salt and add shredded Italian cheese (so many kinds work!) Cook under the broiler for just a minute or two, until lightly brown.