This minestrone is sooo good!!! I adapted mine from Hunter's minestrone on the Food Network (link), but as usual, mine is how I simplify the recipe even more. He serves it with grilled cheese with bacon and sliced apple ...... soooo tasty!!! Yum!! Especially easy if you buy already cooked bacon. I prefer to use natural bacon without all the bad stuff and Whole Foods just started carrying it in the meat dept. I used to cook my own to avoid buying the chemical laden version.
So, for the minestrone .......
First, put some water on to boil for the pasta.
I buy italian sausage from Whole Foods. If they don't have bulk, they will either cut it out of the links for you or make you a fresh batch. Don't give in and buy the unhealthy kind from the regular grocery, it's loaded with MSG, which is full to toxins.
I brown the sausage, about a pound and a half. I puree carrots, celery and onion in the food processor. Three or four carrots, three or four celery ribs, and a big onion or two small ones. I add that to the cooked sausage and stir around a bit. I throw in a couple sprigs of rosemary and thyme along with either some rubbed sage or some fresh sage chopped. Once the soup is done, I take out the rosemary and thyme.
I add three boxes organic chicken broth. READ the boxes!! Lots of these chicken broths have "yeast extract", which is MSG and can make those of us who are sensitive get a belly ache.
I also add a couple spoonfuls of chopped garlic out of a jar. Yeah, the lazy way, but this is the easy way to make nice recipes, right? I'm no chef!!
I add a can or two of crushed tomatoes, depending on how it looks ..... and I add a bay leaf or two. Then three cans of cannelloni beans (or other white beans if they're out).
When the water is boiling, add the pasta (one package is good). Cook according to directions. Then pour the drained pasta into the soup. You want it to be a bite-size pasta. I use organic.
It's good topped with parmesan, but I usually forget.
This is great soup, looks impressive, and isn't tough at all!!!