Ever since Halloween, we have been eating an insane amount of sugar over here. In fact, my 2-year-old climbed up on to the counter and helped herself to some candy for breakfast this morning while I was sleeping. Oops. All my social media feeds are being bombarded with Holiday goodies and Thanksgiving side dishes. This week, however, I’m protesting and sharing something else. Don’t get me wrong. I love Thanksgiving dinner with all the fixings, and if you visit our blog you will notice that there is definitely no shortage of recipes to satisfy your sweet tooth. But usually what we’re after when we scour the internet for recipes is something quick, easy, and tasty that will fill tummies at our dinner tables. Let me tell you, this family friendly minestrone recipe fits the bill perfectly.
It is packed with veggies and totally adaptable to your tastes. I love me some soup and this one is filling enough to be a meal on its own without being overly heavy and filled with cream or loaded with cheese. It does have a couple of slices of bacon though, so I can’t really tell you that it’s health food. Let’s just make an exception this one time because, well…bacon. And sausage if you want. It’s not a lot, but it gives the soup an incredible flavor.
The best part about this recipe is its adaptability. Kids not crazy for zucchini? You can sub green beans or spinach. Don’t love kidney beans? Use black beans or chickpeas. Don’t have sausage? Use ground beef. You really can’t mess it up.
My mom, my sister, and I all made this and we all made our own changes to suit our tastes and we all loved it! It’s quick and easy and paired with some crusty bread it seems to me to be the perfect fall meal.
We hope you’ll try it!
Servings 6 -8 servings
- 3-4 slices bacon cut into ½ inch pieces
- 4 -8 ounces ground sausage
- 1 onion diced
- 1 cup diced celery
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 2 cups water plus more as needed
- 1 28 ounce can tomatoes, crushed fine
- 1 15 ounce can great northern beans, drained
- 1 15 ounce can garbanzo beans, drained
- 2 medium zucchini diced
- 3 carrots diced
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes or to taste
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1-2 handfuls baby spinach roughly chopped
- 1 cup ditalini pasta
- salt and ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
- 1/4 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley
Cook pasta according to package directions. Rinse in hot water. Set aside until ready to serve.
In large stock pot over medium-high heat, add bacon and sausage; cook and stir until it begins to brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in onions, carrots, and celery; cook and stir until onions start to turn translucent, about 3 minutes. Stir in minced garlic and cook for another minute.
Pour chicken broth, water, and tomatoes into onion mixture. Bring to a simmer.
Stir in zucchini, both types of beans, red pepper flakes, Italian seasoning, and 2 teaspoons salt into broth mixture. Bring to a simmer and cook until zucchini is crisp-tender.
Stir in spinach and simmer until softened, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and black pepper to taste.
Spoon cooked pasta into serving bowls and ladle soup into bowls on top of the pasta. Top with Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, and Italian parsley for serving.
Notes: You can sub petite diced tomatoes for the crushed tomatoes if you like more chunky tomatoes. Also, the pasta can be added with the zucchini and cooked until tender, but if you have leftovers or cook for a long time it will get soggy and soak up lots of moisture from the soup.
Recipe Source: Adapted from Chef John on Allrecipes.com
Here are a few more of our favorite soups:
Here are some more great soups to help you combat your Halloween-candy-hangover:
Oh man, this is SOOOOO GOOD! Just made it, doubled the recipe so I could freeze some… mmm… the only thing I changed was one less cup of water for a stronger tomato flavor. I also used Italian sausage for extra flavor. I love it!