Just something I threw together on a chilly evening using ingredients I had on hand. Not a true minestrone, but that was my inspiration. Served with a hearty bread it makes a complete meal.
- Ready In:
- 2hrs 5mins
- 1⁄2 lb sweet Italian sausage
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3⁄4 cup onion, chopped
- 1 leek, thinly sliced (white and light green parts)
- 1 medium zucchini, chopped
- 2 medium carrots, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 (15 ounce) can red kidney beans, rinsed
- 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
- 4 cups vegetable broth, low sodium
- 1⁄2 cup fresh kale, shredded (or other greens)
- 1⁄3 cup orzo (other other small pasta)
- 1⁄2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1⁄2 teaspoon dried basil
- 1⁄2 teaspoon dried oregano
- salt (to taste)
- black pepper (to taste)
- In a 5 or 6 quart dutch oven over medium heat, brown the sausage, breaking it up with a large spoon. After the meat starts to brown, add the red wine vinegar. (It will make the sausage easier to break into small pieces.).
- Add the olive oil, onion, leek, and carrots, and cook over medium until the vegetables begin to soften.
- Add the dried herbs, zucchini and garlic, and cook for several more minutes. (The heat should be high enough that there is some browning on the bottom of the pan.).
- Add the can of crushed tomatoes and cook for about five minutes.
- Add the broth, beans, and salt and pepper to taste.
- Reduce heat and cook at a low simmer for at least one hour. Longer cooking will produce better flavor.
- Raise the heat until the soup begins to bubble. Add the kale and pasta, and cook for 15-20 minutes until the pasta is soft.
- For a thinner soup, add one cup additional broth or hot water during cooking.
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