But enough about me. You’re really here to read about the most amazing minestrone recipe ever, so let’s get to that. This is one of my favorite and most-often-served recipes, probably because it’s the embodiment of what everyone wants on cold winter days such as these: hearty, healthy, tasty, and versatile. And boy, oh boy is it versatile. If you’re vegetarian, you can just omit the chicken sausage and substitute vegetarian broth. If you aren’t a vegetarian, you can choose any flavored sausage that you think would suit this soup (chicken and roasted garlic & chicken and sun dried tomato are my favorite, but I’m sure there are many others that would appeal!). If you are accustomed to seeing noodles in your minestrone, go ahead and add some pre-cooked noodles to the end of this dish (just beware: if you refrigerate it overnight with the noodles inside, they will absorb most of your broth and your soup will become stew!). I prefer to skip the noodles and to serve this with a crusty bread instead.
I got my inspiration for this dish from another book, but I have made so many modifications that I think that I can now call the recipe my own.
recipe by ME! :)
- In a large pot, heat oil until hot. Add onions, celery, carrots, and potatoes and stir to combine. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring often, until vegetables are softened.
- Add all the spices and stir to combine.
- Add the tomatoes and broth and stir. Allow to come to a simmer.
- While your soup is coming to a simmer, saute your sausages. I like mine browned on both sides, but you really just need to make sure that they are cooked through.
- Add the sausages and the kidney beans, green beans, and pearl barley to the soup. If you want, you can add some of LeAnn's dumplings as well (note that they absorb some of your broth as they swell, so you may need to add more broth to compensate for that!). Simmer for 20 minutes.
- Either add cooked noodles now or serve alongside a crusty bread.
- Top with freshly shaved Parmesan cheese.