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A great soup to have coming inside from winter’s cold. Similar to my Everything Soup, be a little milder perhaps. Apparently, there are no set rules for minestrone; it is a thick soup with beans, tomatoes, seasonal vegetables and pasta or rice. Instead of canned beans, you can cook your own beans ahead of time. You will need about 2/3 cup of small dry beans for this recipe. It is important to soak the beans overnight, be sure to discard the water and to rinse the beans. If you have to cook the beans with the quick cooking method, make sure there is no salt in the cooking liquid, because salt will prevent the beans from absorbing water and no matter how long you cook them, they remain tough. So at no time cook the beans in the stock, because even low sodium stock will have some salt in it.

3 Tbsp olive oil
2 mild Italian pork sausages, chopped
1/2 onion, diced
1 carrot, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
4 cups chicken stock
1 cup canned tomatoes, chopped
1 can of small navy beans, drained and rinsed
1 garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup small penne noodles
1 pinch dried sage
1 pinch dried rosemary
1 pinch dried thyme
1 pinch dried parsley
salt and pepper to taste

• In a large non-stick fry pan sauté the sausages in olive oil until well browned.
• Add the diced onion, chopped carrots, and the celery.
• Place a lid on the fry pan.
• Cook until vegetables have a vibrant color.
• Meanwhile place the chicken stock in a soup pot and begin to heat.
• Add the sausage and vegetable mix to the pot.
• Add the canned tomatoes, garlic and bay leaf to the chicken stock.
• Bring to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes stirring occasionally.
• Meanwhile in a separate pot bring water to boil and add the penne noodles.
• Cook noodles for 6 minutes only.
• Drain the penne noodles and stir into the simmering soup.
• Add the cooked and rinsed beans.
• Add the herbs and season with salt and ground pepper to taste.
• Simmer soup for 4 minutes and then serve.



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