Minestrone Soup

READY IN: 3hrs 30mins
YIELD: 40 cups




  • Sauté bacon, ground beef, & sausage (remove from casing and break up) in large deep fry pan.
  • Add onion when the meat starst to brown.
  • Continue cooking until onion softens then add garlic and stir for 2 minutes to take the raw edge off.
  • While meat is browning, get out your biggest pot and start adding the tomatoes, carrots, rutabaga, broth, celery, spices.
  • Bring to a boil, add browned meat. Simmer for 10 minutes then add everything else, pushing down the cabbage. Add a bit of water to make sure the cabbage is covered.
  • One year I was trying to hurry this along and cooked the cabbage in another pot then mixed it inches Worked okay.
  • It will look like too much but the cabbage shrinks a lot! Simmer until all veggies are almost soft. Add your drained beans and the cheese. Stir, taste and add more of what you feel it needs.
  • If your soup pot looks ridiculously thick add some water but not too much. The point of this soup is to freeze thick and dilute later.
  • This is why I add water (or broth) when it is thawed out. Takes less space in the freezer this way.
  • Add half a cup of fresh Parmesan to the soup while cooking for a 'wow' flavour boost. Taste and adjust seasoning. Cool and transfer to containers.
  • It does need to sit overnight to taste the best. If cold enough the pot can sit out on the deck.
  • This makes a very thick soup. We freeze it in yogurt containers.
  • If you want noodles, cook a handful then add to the soup before serving. This is wonderful with garlic bread and lots of Parmesan cheese!.
  • I call this my 'Campbell's condensed' version of minestrone. I figured why add all the extra water (taking up freezer space) when I can do that later.
  • I don't add salt to this soup because the bacon, cheese and tinned products have enough of the stuff.