Make It Your Own
The base of any minestrone soup is going to be vegetables and pasta. In Sarah’s Minestrone Soup (yes, I’m putting my name on this one), I start with a pound of ground breakfast sausage before diving into those classic ingredients. If you want to spice things up, you can choose a spicy sausage but I use “original” flavor. I keep the chopping to a minimum in this recipe. Yes, you need to cut an onion and mince a few cloves of garlic but that is it! All other produce is either canned or frozen. It is so much easier to have canned and frozen items on hand and frankly, it can be cheaper. I do use fresh thyme in this recipe because I prefer the flavor over the dried version but use whatever is easiest for you. Plucking those fresh thyme leaves is a tedious task. I prefer to use food safe twine to bundle the thyme sprigs. The exact number of sprigs is not critical, just grab a few and move on with the recipe.
As far as soups go, Sarah’s Minestrone Soup comes together fairly quickly. Brown the sausage first to ensure it cooks through. This will also provide oils to help cook down the onions and garlic. Once those are cooked down, you add the canned tomatoes, salt & pepper, vegetable broth, and frozen vegetables. The blend I use includes green beans, corn, carrots, and peas. But use whatever blend you prefer or have on hand. Toss in your thyme and bay leaf then bring the pot to a boil. Once boiling, add your pasta. Be sure to stir periodically as the pasta cooks so that it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot. You are ready to serve once the pasta is cooked through. Yes, this makes a large pot of soup. Perfect for feeding a crowd, sharing with neighbors, or storing half of it away in the freezer for a later date.
Sarah’s Minestrone Soup
- 1 lb ground sausage
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 28 oz canned fired roasted diced tomatoes (do not drain)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 8 cups vegetable broth
- 16 oz frozen mixed vegetables
- 5-10 sprigs fresh thyme tied into a bundle with food safe twine
- 1 bay leaf
- 1½ cups small pasta of your choice (I used ditalini)
- In a Dutch oven or large pot, brown sausage over medium heat.
- Stir in onions and cook until translucent.
- Add garlic and cook an additional 1-2 minutes.
- Stir in tomatoes and salt & pepper.
- Add vegetable broth, vegetables, thyme, and bay leaf to pot and increase heat to high, bringing soup to a boil.
- Add pasta and stir occasionally to ensure it does not stick to the bottom of the pot.
- Once pasta is cooked, remove thyme sprigs and bay leaf.
- Serve warm. Optional to sprinkle freshly grated parmesan cheese on top.