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It's back to school time and things can get crazy busy trying to get into new routines, starting fall sports, and keep everyone focused. This means that dinner sometimes becomes whatever you can fix fast and is not always the healthiest. This sausage minestrone soup is the answer to an easy, hearty meal that everyone in the family will love. The best part is that it makes enough for you to one or two freezer meals for another day. Italian Minestrone soup does not usually include meat because minestone simply means vegetables but this recipe for minestrone soup with sausage will be come a family favorite I promise.
This soup takes only about 10 minutes to prep and simmers for about 40 minutes which is a perfect time to help kids with homework. It does all the work for you while you do other things and it's so savory and hearty but not too heavy. Minestrone soup ingredients usually include veggies like tomatoes, carrots, zucchini and celery. I've also added some spinach to my recipe. We've been trying to find ways to eat more healthy cuts of meat and love to cook with italian sausage. We use it in recipes like our Italian Tortellini soup, homemade spaghetti sauce, or breakfast burritos. It' so versitile and gives a ton of flavor to any recipe that you would regularly use ground beef or pork in. Shady Brook Farms makes an excellent sweet italian turkey sausage and that's what I used in this, you can also try their hot Italian sausage if you want a little heat. There are many nights that we don't get to eat together because of sports practices, church or school events so I can make this and leave it on the stove for everyone to eat when they get home.
You can also throw this recipe in a crockpot but you will want to cut in in 1/2 for a 6 quart pot. Put in everything but the spinach and pasta and cook on low for 6 hours. 30 minutes before it's done stir in the pasta and spinach. So here is my version of typical minestrone soup ingredients with a few little extras for more flavor and a quick and healty school night meal you are going to love making.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 package Shady Brook Farms Italian Turkey Sausage
- 1 medium onion diced
- 1/2 tsp minced garlic
- 1/2 cup celery diced
- 2 cans great northern beans
- 28 oz can diced tomatoes
- 2 carrots diced
- 1 medium zucchini chopped
- 6 cups vegetable or chicken broth
- 2 cups water
- 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp dried basil
- 1/4 tsp dried thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 tbs chopped fresh Italian parsley
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 2 tsp salt
- 1-1/2 cups ditalini or small noodled pasta
- 3 cups fresh baby spinach
- 3/4 cup parmesan cheese
- Pour olive oil into a large soup pot on medium high heat and crumble in sausage.
- Brown sausage 1/2 way and add diced onion, minced garlic, and diced celery.
- Saute until onion and celery are softened but not browned. You may add extra olive oil if necessary.
- Add the remaining ingredients except for pasta and stir.
- Simmer for 20 -30 minutes.
- Stir in spinach and pasta and simmer for another 20 minutes until pasta is completely cooked. You may add another cup of water or broth if the pasta is soaking up too much liquid.
- Stir in parmesan cheese and stir until melted and serve.
Working with more than 700 independent farmers, Shady Brook Farms is committed to offering better food at a better price, that’s why their turkeys raised without growth-promoting antibiotics are made affordable for you and me in ME, NH, VT, NY, NJ, MA, VA, RI, CT, PA, MD, DE, WV, NC, SC, GA, and FL. For those outside of those states, look for Shady Brook Farms’ sister brand, Honeysuckle White. They have a few of their own turkey tips as well:
- Don’t let the bone intimidate you – look at it as a free bouillon packet to add flavor
- Cook your turkey slowly for the best taste and tenderness
- Use big, bright flavors
- Our turkey loves balanced elements such as fresh citrus and acidic ingredients
- Make sure to remove the skin from the bone-in breast after cooking
- Always cook turkey to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.