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Smoked Sausage Minestrone Soup
Posted by Lori Ross - Viewed 1071 times

Recipe by Lori Ross

This soup is designed to be flexible, so feel free to use ingredients you have on hand in your galley.  The specific vegetables and sausage are suggestions; the key to this soup is that the tasty broth is created from the combination of vegetables (not too bland or bold); sausage (smoky and rich); cheese (salty) and herbs and spices (to liven it up).
Surprisingly, in a blind taste test comparing minestrone made with fresh vegetables vs.  canned vegetable soup,
PassageMaker staff  found the minestrone  made with canned vegetable soup superior to the fresh vegetable version on the day it was made.  The next day, however, after a night in the ice box, the fresh vegetable soup was as tasty and balanced as the version using canned soup.  Clearly, the fresh vegetable minestrone needed time for flavors to develop.    
 
Ingredients:
Soup
6 cups water (use half the amount if you are using canned soup)
Rind of hard cheese (e.g., 4x2” end of parmesan, Romano or pecorino)
3 cups of diced vegetables e.g., onions, carrots, celery, zucchini, green beans, cabbage (or 2 16-oz. cans  non-creamy vegetable soup such as Campbell’s Chunky Vegetable or ProgressoVegetable Minestrone)
]2 16-oz. can tomatoes (stewed or diced)
1 16-oz. can cannellini or other beans **
1 pound kielbasa or other cooked or smoked sausage sliced into 1” rounds
½ cup pasta or rice (any kind of  rice or small pasta) **
1 cup chopped spinach
1 /2 t. crushed red pepper
¼ cup basil pesto (or mix 1 T. olive oil with 1 t. minced garlic and 1 t. minced fresh rosemary or other fresh herb)
Salt and fresh cracked pepper
** use half the amount if you are using canned soup with pasta or beans

Garlic Bread:
Loaf of unsliced French or Italian bread
4 T. butter or oil
4 cloves garlic (or equivalent garlic powder)
 
Cooking:
Garlic Bread:

·              Mince  garlic cloves
·              Sauté garlic until tender
·              Add salt and pepper
·              Slice loaf of bread horizontally to create two long halves
·              Brush garlic oil/butter onto both halves of bread and add grated cheese if you wish
·              Broil for 5 minutes until golden brown and serve

Soup:

·              In a large pot, combine water with tomatoes, cheese rind and fresh vegetables (or canned soup broth)
·              Bring to a boil
·              Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes
·               Add beans, smoked sausage slices, pasta (and soup vegetables if you are using canned soup)  and cook for 10 more minutes
·              Remove from heat and stir in spinach, crushed red pepper and pesto or herb mix
·              Salt and pepper to taste
Serve with grated parmesan cheese, hot garlic bread and fruity red wine such as zinfandel or chianti.

Time: 30 to 40 minutes






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