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 – 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!
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 obviously!
Next add water and a beef bullion cube, followed by 3 cups of vegetables.
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 pepper.
Sprinkle in a bit of parmesan cheese, and simmer until the veggies are soft.
Finally, add in just 1/2 cup (it’s amazing how much these expand) of any kind of tiny pasta – regular or gluten-free.
Cook until the pasta is soft, and you’re set.
Ultra quick, uber healthy, and bursting with flavor!
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Minestrone Soup combines vegetables with a savory broth, noodles and Italian sausage. Delicious and hearty!
- 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, regular or gluten-free
- 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.
- The pasta will soak up some of the liquid as it cools, so you may need to add more water or beef broth when reheating.
This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats, http://iowagirleats.com.
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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In case anyone is wondering, this soup freezes WONDERFULLY. I made an extra batch and froze it about 2 months ago, thawed some today and it tasted just as amazing as the first day I made it! Awesome recipe!
Jayne Rossi-Elliott 02.24.2014
Absolutely delicious — made this last night, loved it! Had leftovers for lunch today, even better the second day! Great recipe!
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I’ll use frozen mixed veggies instead what you listed. Ill also add diced tomatoes . Sound good soup! I’ll have to put separate pots, one spicy and one mild ( I got two kids). Thanks for the recipe!!
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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!!
Iowa Girl Eats 04.02.2012
Love that idea! Glad you liked it! :D
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.
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!
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!
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?
Iowa Girl Eats 02.23.2012
I’m sure it’d be fine to freeze, as well as most of the other soups here: http://iowagirleats.com/recipes/?search_term=soup%2Fstew&ui=402&c=1
Tracy @ Babies Love Baked Goods 02.21.2012
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!
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!
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
Laura @ Mrs in the Making 02.15.2012
You always have the greatest soup recipes!!!! Thanks so much for sharing!