Weeknight Shorts: Late Harvest Sausage Minestrone

As December begins and I'm looking for ways to simplify a busy holiday season, I often turn to soup. I can make a bunch of it and have leftovers for lunch or a dinner later in the week and there are so many ways to prepare it. This time around, I'm offering a simple late season minestrone soup featuring roasted tomatoes and Italian sausage that takes about a half hour to get on the table. What's not to love?

Minestrone is about showcasing vegetables and the blend I include here is far from complete. Do you have some summer or winter squash? Toss it in! A few stray green beans? They will be great in it. Peppers and onions are often included and I only omitted them here because I had a guest with food preferences that did not include them. This is an excellent way to use up a few leftover veggies from the crisper, a snack tray, or last night's supper. Get creative - this recipe is versatile enough to work with you.

I love making pillowy focaccia to serve alongside a soup like this, but grilled cheese or even a crusty baguette will do the trick. Keep it simple and enjoy a meal that doesn't take too much and gives so very much!

Late Harvest Sausage Minestrone

  • 1 lb. Italian sausage
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-2 c. roasted tomatoes or 1 can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 4 c. chicken stock
  • 1 c. fresh or frozen peas
  • 1 can cannellini beans
  • 1 c. coarsely shredded carrots
  • 2 c. fresh spinach or kale, chopped

Brown the sausage in a stock pot until fully cooked; add the garlic during the last 2 minutes of cooking.

Add the roasted tomatoes, chicken stock, peas, and cannellini beans; bring to a simmer and cook until the peas are tender (about 6-8 minutes). Add the shredded carrot and spinach or kale and turn the heat to low. Allow the soup to cook for an additional 5 minutes before serving.

  • Yields: About 8 cups soup
  • Preparation Time: 30 minutes