MINESTRONE SOUP WITH SAUSAGE
​1/4 cup (50 mL) light olive oil, divided
1 lb (0.5 kg) hot Italian sausages, casings removed
1 cup (250 mL) diced onion
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 cup (250 mL) cubed carrots (1/2 inch/1.25 cm)
1 cup (250 mL) cubed celery (1/2 inch/1.25 cm)
1 cup (250 mL) cubed fennel (1/2 inch/1.25 cm)
4 cups (1 L) chicken broth
1 can (28 oz/796 mL) diced tomatoes
1 can (19 oz/540 mL) white kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 tsp (5 mL) basil, crumbled
1/2 tsp (2 mL) oregano, crumbled
1/2 cup (125 mL) small shell pasta, cooked, rinsed and drained
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Freshly grated Parmesan or Asiago cheese

​Heat 1 tbsp (15 mL) oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat.  Add sausages and cook, stirring to break up sausages, until browned, about 7 – 10 minutes. Transfer sausages to a paper towel-lined plate.  Drain off excess fat from pan.

Heat remaining 3 tbsp (40 mL) oil in pan.  Add onion and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute.  Add carrots, celery and fennel; cook, stirring, for 5 minutes.

Return sausages to pan.  Stir in broth, tomatoes, beans, basil and oregano.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

Add cooked pasta and cook, stirring, until heated through.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Ladle into bowls.  Top with Parmesan cheese.  Serves 6 – 8.

 

Cook's Note: Light olive oil has gone through a filtration process that leaves it light in both colour and flavour. This filtration process causes light olive oil to have a higher smoke point than regular olive oil, which means light olive oil can be used for frying. Regular olive oil is better suited for uncooked foods such as salad dressings or foods that are gently heated since its flavour will break down when frying.

 
Last updated on May 24, 2019