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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Fabulous Minestrone

We're almost at the end of soup season. We try to eat soup once a week in the winter, and then switch to salads of varying kinds in the summer. Last night marked the transition; we ate Mexican chicken salads (post to come later), and tonight we finished off the winter with a lovely minestrone.

I can't promise we won't eat soup again until the snow falls. We love soup. I should also qualify that this is one of the few soups I make that not everyone in our family loves. But those of us who love it are quite serious in our passion, so we make the others eat it on occasion.

This recipe originally came from my sister. I've made it for years. I don't know where she got it. It says to cook slowly for six hours. A crock pot works well for this. I hardly ever cook it for the full six hours. An hour or two on the stove top seems to work fine; turn up the heat if you've got less time!

1 1-lb. package Jimmy Dean gold label sausage
1 quart water
1 8-oz. can tomato sauce
3 large carrots, sliced or cubed
4 stalks chopped celery
2 cans diced tomatoes
2 cans beef consomme
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 clove minced garlic

Brown sausage in a large soup pot and drain well. Return meat to pot. Add other ingredients. cook slowly for six hours. Add the following ingredients:

1 can green beans drained
1 cup macaroni
1 can red kidney beans, undrained

Cook at a rapid boil until macaroni is done (about fifteen minutes). Add salt and/or sugar to taste. Serves 6-8

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