Minestrone Soup

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Minestrone combines lots of vegetables with a savory broth, noodles and Italian sausage. Delicious and hearty!

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Sundays are all about routine in our house.

I wake up early, around 8am or so if I’m feeling particularly indulgent, then spend a couple hours prepping dinners for the week in the kitchen. Chopping and simmering with a hot cup of coffee in one hand and a spatula in the other, enjoying a couple hours of quiet time in the morning before Ben gets up.

Ben’s a sleeper. He’d snooze until 3pm everyday if it were PC, but if he wants to go to bed on time that night and not throw his whole week off, his requested wake up call comes at 10am on Sunday mornings.

I tiptoe into the bedroom, interrupt dreamland with a few back scratches, and 15 minutes later when he’s still not up, holler empty threats from the living room where I’m now stationed, catching up on emails and freelance projects. Eventually he’ll appear at the top of the stairs, hair a mess, eyes half shut – but awake, damnit – and announce his plans for the day.

These usually consist of catching up on the honey-do list he’s put off all weekend or, in the summertime, deciding on what meat to smoke that afternoon.

We’ll come together a few hours later for a trip to the gym if we’re feeling motivated, then to Costco for a new microwave since the current one sparks if we heat butter or anything with butter in it, or take a nice long walk in the warmer months.

Back in 2008-2009, Ben would head to Wok in Motion around 5pm to get us Vegetarian Fried Rice for supper, which we’d eat until nearly exploding and vow to never do again…until the next Sunday. In 2010-2011, he was most likely heading to Chipotle, where it was pretty much the same story, different dinner.

Here in the present, though, we’ve gotten into the routine of making our Sunday night supper every week. Something grilled in the summer, roasted in the Fall, stir fried in the Spring, and simmered in the winter – usually a hearty, flavorful soup that we’ll enjoy curled up on the couch, waiting for our shows to come on.

Well, today was absolutely no different, and after a trip to the gym, Target, and Costco – seriously, why butter? – we just finished dining on Minestrone with Baked Garlic Bread for dinner!

The recipe for this “kitchen sink” type soup was sent to me from a reader, and combines oodles of veggies with a savory broth, tiny noodles and spicy Italian sausage. It is absolutely delish!

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Start the soup by browning Italian sausage. If there’s a lot of fat that cooks out, drain it and return to the pot. Then add in spicy marinara sauce. I used Gino’s obvi!

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Next add water and a beef bullion cube, followed by 3 cups of vegetables.

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You could used any mix of veggies you want – mushrooms, carrots, celery, etc. – but I used frozen peas (Ben’s fave), golden corn, and fresh zucchini. Top the veggies with Italian seasoning, dried parsley, salt and peppah.

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Sprinkle in a bit of parmesan cheese, and simmer until the veggies are soft.

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Finally, add in just 1/2 cup (it’s amazing how much these expand) of any kind of tiny pasta.

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Cook until the pasta is soft, and you’re set.

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Ultra quick, uber healthy, and bursting with flavor!

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Minestrone Soup

Print this recipe!

Serves 5-6

Slightly adapted from I am Momma Hear Me Roar

Ingredients:
1/2 lb spicy Italian sausage
4 cups water*
2 cups marinara sauce
1 beef bullion cube
3 cups vegetables (I used 1 cup each zucchini, corn and frozen peas)
2 Tablespoons parmesan cheese
1-1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
couple grinds black pepper
1/2 cup small dried pasta

Directions:

  1. Brown and crumble sausage in a large soup pot until cooked through. Drain if a lot of fat remains in the pot. Stir in water, marinara sauce, beef bullion, parmesan cheese and seasonings. Bring to a boil, cover, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes, or until vegetables are cooked through. Add in pasta and simmer, uncovered, until done.
  2. *Pasta will soak up some of the liquid as it cools, so may need to add more water or beef broth when reheating.

 

The spicy marinara sauce and sausage gave this soup substance, while the veggies keep it light. I could have eaten BOWLS of this stuff. Luckily it made a ton – plenty of leftovers for lunches this week!

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I took some inspiration from the Italian Bread I featured in this week’s Friday Favorites and made Baked Garlic Bread for the side. Oh. Mg. Gah. SO GOOD!

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I used a petite demi loaf (perhaps the cutest thing I’ve ever seen) since it was just Ben and I, but a regular sized loaf of Italian bread would be your best bet for a crowd.

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Then I cut the bread into slices without going all the way through.

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Next I mixed up a crazy good compound butter, with Earth Balance, garlic salt and Italian seasoning.

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Finally I smeared the butter in between the slices,

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wrapped the loaf up in foil, and baked it for 15 minutes, until it was warm and dah-ripping with garlic butter.

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Ben said it tasted like Texas Toast – which we both secretly love.

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Gosh, I can’t get over how good this meal was. I inhaled it! :)

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Usually around this time on Sundays nights Ben will run out to grab us some diet dews to enjoy as “dessert” but, drumroll please…I am 5 days diet soda free, and Ben is 52 hours free – whee! We read a horrifying article last week about regular, and diet soda, and  have lost all taste for the stuff. We’ll see how long this effort lasts, but hopefully it sticks. Fingers crossed! :)

Hope you had a fabulous weekend!

~~~~~

What are some of your Sunday routines or traditions?

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Comments

  1. With 4 kids, it’s hard for me to even remember what Sundays like that were like! This soup looks delicious…my husband will love it:-) Can’t wait to try it!

  2. Sarah 02.12.2012

    I love minestrone soup! That soup looks delicious. Here’s one of my favorite recipes. It’s so so good. http://www.howsweeteats.com/2011/12/minestrone-pot-pie-with-whole-wheat-parmesan-biscuits/

  3. Hannah 02.12.2012

    Please share the horrifying article re: diet soda. I need to kick my crack-in-a-can addiction (diet coke)!

  4. Lindsey 02.12.2012

    Love Sunday mornings in our house! A morning gym trip about 9am, then come home, make brunch, relax with a filling brunch and coffee for 30-60 minutes before doing house chores. Best time of the week hands down.

  5. What article did you read about the diet soda? I need to stop drinking diet soda, maybe I need to read this article! :) Also, soup looks awesome! Another to add to my list to try! Have a great week!

  6. oh MAN that buttery bread and soup look so good! We too are creatures of habit with our Sunday meals. For a long time it was homemade pizza. Lately it’s been something easier, such as frozen pizzas with our own toppings. Breakfast though is where it’s at, where we usually have huge breakfasts with eggs, pancakes, coffee, and bacon. Love these mornings so much.

  7. Kate...Wisconsin girl 02.12.2012

    My fav thing to do on Sundays is to curl up on the couch with the bf and watch HGTV and DIY channels.

  8. Lauren 02.12.2012

    This soup looks so delicious! Our Sunday’s always consist of sleeping in and waking up to enjoy a wonderful breakfast together. The only day of the week that we get to do this and it’s so much enjoyed.

  9. emily 02.12.2012

    I too am an early riser, wait for the husband to wake up, then we usually get lunch out and relax at home until its time to make dinner. In the summer we will go for walks or hikes in the afternoon. This winter, Sundays also include puppy class with our little guy!

  10. Kara 02.12.2012

    Wow that looks amazing! Definitely going on my list for dinner this week. Thanks for sharing!

  11. I gave up my daily 2 liter of Diet Pepsi addiction 6 months ago, and had terrible headaches for a week or so, but it was the BEST thing I have ever done for my health. So glad your giving up your Diet Soda addiction! Just plain scary whats in those fizzy drinks.

  12. Julia Steele 02.12.2012

    Looks amazing! I’ll be trying that this week (along with my further enrollment into the diet coke wing of the Betty Ford Clinic!)

  13. Lindsey M 02.12.2012

    I love the sound of a normal Sunday routine! my weekends never have structure but this sounds like a way to get things done!

  14. allison 02.12.2012

    Love this post! My boyfriend is the same Sundays. I will eventually yell that I’m going to a favorite coffee shop or the local market, that does the trick ;)

  15. I love your Sunday routine! I would kill for a day with my boo like this. We rarely have days off together, so when we do it’s always made scrambling to get things done that require both of us, and then some sort of date-like activity.

    P.s. I could be slow, and just not seeing it, but you need a plug-in so readers can easily e-mail posts to other people. I mean, I could copy and paste the url in an e-mail, but I’m lazy, and I am sure you have nothing better to do with your time than figure out how to install yet ANOTHER plug-in that you absolutely NEED…. ;-)

  16. Jeri 02.12.2012

    Growing up we always had a nice dinner after church, but then all afternoon it was a free for all (since sometimes dinner was not exactly at noon). Since we kind of snacked all afternoon, supper was homemade popcorn on the stove! YUM! I have tried for the past 6 years to implemint this now with my family, but my husband complained that it wasn’t filling enough and we have now switched to soup sundays. How did your new microwave turn out? Our microwave always sparks with carrots.

  17. Diane B 02.12.2012

    Sunday = Church in the morning, coffee house in the afternoon and ‘Soup Sunday’. LOVE SUNDAYS!

  18. Kristin from MN 02.12.2012

    That soup looks so good! I have never cooked with zucchini but I really like that idea! Did you peel the zucchini first? Do you dispose of the center with the seeds?

  19. This is definitely a tasty tradition :)
    I usually use Sundays in the winter for the same kind of cooking but first I spend 2-3 hours after breakfast on the couch with couch and/or book/computer just being lazy. :)

  20. Emily 02.12.2012

    I love Sunday routines!! I get up around 7 am, go for my weekly long run of between 9-20 miles depending on what I’m training for, come home to make a bowl of oats, and spend the rest of the day doing grad school reading and writing. I usually spend a little time in the kitchen getting things in order for the week too!

  21. Jenn 02.12.2012

    LOVE it! i was totally convinced this was a shortcut to a good soup by using spaghetti-o’s when i first looked at the pic (thinking “wtf is she THINKING??”) and was pleasantly surprised when i read through the recipe!

    i’m gonna have to remember this recipe next time we make soup :D

  22. Maria W 02.12.2012

    Sunday’s—My usual routine is quiet time with the Lord, followed by breakfast and since I’m practicing for a musical drama every Sunday for weeks now until the performance next month, I go to practice for several hours. Hearty Soup sounds good!!! Thanks for the recipe!

  23. Jane 02.12.2012

    Thanks so much for the link to the pop article! My husband since I have known him (over 13 years) has drank a 2 liter bottle of diet mt dew every…single…day! I mean yea it’s diet, but apparently that doesn’t matter! So I read the article to him and he is going to get off the sauce! Yeahhhh! :D

  24. Lo 02.13.2012

    Wow, how can you -not- be a sleeper?? Sundays are for sleeping in, IMO. Who doesn’t love a good long sleep?? I am envious of your will power when it comes to getting up at 8am and being productive on a Sunday morning. For me it’s a fight to get out of bed before 9:30. You must be a saint! :)

  25. Emilia 02.13.2012

    Wow, that soup looks fantastic. I can only imagine how comforting it must be for a sunday dinner! Good luck with being diet-soda free, definitely a good decision (one that I keep trying to convince the people around me to make…). My Sunday routine always involves a long morning walk to find a good croissant. :)

  26. I LOVE minestrone soup. :) Thanks for sharing the recipe.

    Our Sundays look like this most weeks: Church at 8:30am, lunch w/ my family around 11:30am, run errands which usually include grocery shopping and any other various things, home to take an afternoon nap (what is it about Sundays…. the ONLY day I enjoy a nap) and then making dinner at home while watching Extreme Makeover Home Edition and Desperate Housewives. :)

  27. Ris 02.13.2012

    My Sundays consist of making a meal plan for the week, going through cupboards and fridge, and then making a grocery list. Then we head to Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods (and usually get a treat of some sort) before coming home to relax. I head to the gym, he starts on chores, and then we make dinner together and watch Downton Abbey. Makes me almost like Sunday nights! Almost.

  28. This looks sooo good! I went ahead and “pinned it” to Pintrest so I can remember to make it!

  29. I noticed you used powered Parmesan cheese…next time you use up a chuck of real Parm..save the rind and just throw it in the soup the whole time while it cooks…then remove when done. The flavor is so rich – it’s amazing!

    p.s. – you can freeze the rind until you’re ready to use it too!

    xoxo from Trinidad

  30. my microwave has been doing the SAME thing. So annoying. and it’s impossible to melt chocolate in it because it refuses to operate on anything but 100% power.

  31. Brooke 02.13.2012

    OH wow…just read that article on sodas. I don’t ever think I want to put that into my body ever again (and I’m a diet coke fiend!). I drink it religiously. Oh gross. Thank you for sharing that. I had no idea half of those reasons even existed! I just didn’t think about it. Hope your diet soda free days stretch into months and months…I’m going today to quit. Yesterday was it. Great looking soup…I’m making that garlic bread tomorrow night for my man and me for V day!

  32. Oh the days of no kids and sleeping in – enjoy it! I just told my hubby the other day that I haven’t slept in since 2009 (since our first was born). I’m not kidding!

    But this soup…bookmarking for sure…love it!

  33. Birds Nest 101 02.13.2012

    My E and I are always rushing out of bed early to get the day going, but lately we realized whats the rush?!?! Coffee is ready by 8am, tv in bed until 10am or so. Our pup has finally gotten the hang of “Sunday mornings need to be cherished”, thankfully she doesnt demand her walk to later. She herself crawls underneath her little blanket. It couldn’t. be. better.

  34. Our Sundays involve heading to church, walking the pup (not yesterday because it was 20 degrees and she was shivering every time we put her out!), cooking something tasty, and hanging in our sweatpants. I loooove lazy Sundays!

  35. Sara 02.13.2012

    That soup looks delish, it will be a must try for dinner this week. Gotta think of my 3rd veggie, all ready have green beans and corn. And YEAH for you on kicking the soda! I’ve been 2 weeks Mt Dew free!

  36. I absolutely love spending Sundays in the kitchen, especially in the winter. Having something simmering away all afternoon on the stove, where I’m hidden inside from the snow and cold, is just…lovely. I usually try to make a batch of muffins or banana bread for quick breakfasts or snacks throughout the week too. This soup looks wonderful!

  37. Minestrone is on my top 3 list of favorite soups, but I’ve never found one homemade that I really like, this one looks like the winner! I can’t wait to make it!!!

  38. Jackie 02.13.2012

    Gave up the soda about 6 months ago after reading a similar article. Or should I say that my dietician husband kindly asked again if I would just lay off the diet coke. I really missed it for a month or two but now I just have a pop when I’m at a restaurant. I did buy an 8-pack of little mini-bottles of DC last Friday but they still haven’t been touched. Yeah me! I fill that need for sweets with tea and vitamin water. Not perfect but better.

    Cannot wait to try the minestrone. Wish I had the ingredients on hand as I’d make it tonight after all of this snow!

  39. kellyo 02.13.2012

    Currently eating this soup. So delicious! And I have leftovers for lunch!!!

  40. Lori 02.15.2012

    I just finished making this soup! AMAZING!!! I can’t wait to pack it for lunch tomorrow. Thanks for sharing!

  41. You always have the greatest soup recipes!!!! Thanks so much for sharing!

  42. SundaysChild 02.16.2012

    Diet Pepsi and I are in loving relationship .. or should I say .. we WERE.

    After clicking on your link and reading about what my dear sweet love DP has been doing to me behind my back, I am calling off the engagement. The relationship is over. I am still in love with you DP, can’t change that over-night. We have been together for so long, but really … ummm …it’s .. it’s not YOU dear DP, it’s me. I am learning that I need to love myself and my body FIRST, then I can share my love with another.

    So long DP, thanks for the refreshing memories.

    Julie Andrea XOXO <3

  43. Jordan W. 02.17.2012

    I gave up soda as a new years resolution and have stuck to it! This is the second time I have give it up! The last time I didn’t have a pop in over 4 years! (No exaggeration!) I think you will find that after you go for a couple months (if possible) you won’t even miss it!

  44. Hahaha. 8a.m. is sleeping in nice and long around here! Oh, wait. 8 a.m. *was* early before I had those early bird infants!

  45. Liz 02.23.2012

    I’m looking for soups or other dishes that I can make on Sunday and then freeze and use throughout the week for lunches. Do you think this dish would work for that? Do you have any other recipes that would be good for this?

  46. Nicole G 02.23.2012

    I just made this soup this morning for my husband and kiddos to eat tonight (I am going out for Mexican with the girls tonight ;) and the soup turned out fabulous! I increased everything a bit because I wanted to have leftovers this week for my family of four but it was so delicious! Thanks for the awesome recipe! I will be whipping up the garlic bread this evening too. Love easy meals like this, and a great way to get those veggies in!

  47. Sarah 02.29.2012

    I made this tonight and my husband and I LOVED it! Thank you so much for sharing the recipe. I am already looking forward to having it for leftovers tomorrow for lunch. Yum, yum!

  48. Heather 03.07.2012

    Made it and loved it! My new hubby is a “meat and potatoes” man and he loved it too! Great way to add veggies. The recipe was perfect… easy and delicious! I bought the smallest bread I could find and it was still too much. I’ll make half the loaf this way next time.

    Thanks!

  49. Jen 04.01.2012

    Just made this soup for the 2nd time. Just as good as I remembered! We used spicy chicken sausage. Thanks for such a delicious and easy recipe!!

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