Now that my husband and I live in Southern California, the weather here seldom calls for a bowl of hot, hearty soup. But in our first few love nests in Boston, soup was a regular supper on the cold (and I mean cold) winter nights.

In Boston, we’d spend many winter weekends grocery shopping for vegetables and meat, throwing it all into the CrockPot and watching movies while it simmered. However, warm weekends on the sunny Pacific coast still leave us longing for those lazy Sundays of doing nothing but drooling over the meal to come.

This minestrone has been my favorite one-pot meal and most scrumptious soup this season, and it is super simple to make. Just the ingredient list will have your mouth watering: Hearty kielbasa sausage, garlic cloves, fresh bell peppers, carrots, celery and onion, beans, plum tomatoes and dried basil and oregano. Toss in some plump pasta, serve it with a salad and grate some Parmesan cheese over your bowl, and dinner is served!

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Yield: Serves 4-5


1 lb. kielbasa sausage, cut in half lengthwise and sliced
1 onion, diced
2 bell peppers (I use red and green), diced
3 carrots, peeled and diced
4 stalks celery, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 28 oz. can whole plum tomatoes (Italian-style or regular) and their juice
1 quart chicken broth or stock
1 14.5 oz. can Great Northern or canellini beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 tsp. dried oregano
1-2 Tbsp. fresh basil (or 1 tsp. dry)
1 1/2 cups dry medium-sized pasta (orrechiette or shells)
olive oil, salt, and pepper


In a large soup pot or Dutch oven, brown sausage in a small drizzle of olive oil. Remove sausage and set aside.

Add onion, bell peppers, carrots, and celery to pot, stirring to scrape up any brown bits. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper and continue to cook over medium heat until veggies are crisp-tender, about 10-15 minutes. Add garlic to pot and cook 1 minute more. Return sausage to soup pot.

Using your hands, break up or crush the tomatoes into the soup pot. Add tomato juices and the chicken broth to the pot. Stir in beans, oregano, and basil. Cover and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer about 20 minutes.

While soup is simmering, cook pasta according to package directions in a separate pot. Cook until al dente. Drain and add to soup pot. Stir to combine and add 1-2c water if necessary, or if more broth is desired.


Adapted from One Lovely Life


22 Responses to “Minestrone”

  1. #
    Lawyer Loves Lunch — January 10, 2011 @ 5:57 pm

    Georgia, this soup looks spectacular! I live in California as well but I still love me some soup even when the sun is shining and it’s 90 degrees. Thanks for stopping by my blog so that I could discover yours! :)

  2. #
    wendyweekendgourmet — January 10, 2011 @ 6:11 pm

    This minestrone looks totally delish, Georgia! It’s drizzly and COLD in Texas today…perfect soup weather, so I’m making chili tonight!!

  3. #
    Jennifurla — January 10, 2011 @ 6:14 pm

    Gorgeous soup, I am in love with the table cloth too!

  4. #
    Emily — January 10, 2011 @ 6:54 pm

    Georgia these photos are gorgeous! I’m loving them!

  5. #
    Pam — January 10, 2011 @ 7:20 pm

    I could go for a big bowl of this soup right now – it looks delicious.

  6. #
    Monet — January 10, 2011 @ 9:45 pm

    I understand the change of climates…we moved from CO to TX, and we still haven’t gotten accustomed to 70 degree days in January. But even though we don’t have the snow…we still love making soup and stews. Thank you for sharing your delightful minestrone recipe with me. I hope you are having a happy and warm Monday. It is actually quite cold day today in Austin!

  7. #
    UrMomCooks — January 10, 2011 @ 10:09 pm

    There is absolutely nothing here not to love!!! We get a few chilly days in Austin, but this soup looks so good I think there is no need to wait! (We also lived in Boston many years back – yikes I remember the winters!!!)

  8. #
    Chef Dennis — January 10, 2011 @ 10:38 pm

    what a perfect soup for this cold spell we are having! I think even in warm weather it would still be delicious, just give me some crusty bread and I’m in heaven!

  9. #
    Betty @ scrambled hen fruit — January 11, 2011 @ 4:57 am

    What a beautiful soup! And since I don’t live in Southern California, and it’s cold and threatening snow tonight here on the East coast, this would be perfect. :)

  10. #
    Katrina — January 11, 2011 @ 12:12 pm

    This soup looks perfect! Awesome recipe.

  11. #
    Angie — January 11, 2011 @ 12:57 pm

    This is what I would love for the dinner! Looks so delicious and appetizing!

  12. #
    Jenn's Food Journey — January 11, 2011 @ 1:28 pm

    I love a good minestrone soup…and yours looks so incredibly GOOD!!!

  13. #
    Marla {family fresh cooking} — January 11, 2011 @ 2:06 pm

    Gorgeous & warming soup Georgia – a little bit of great sausage goes a long way as far as flavor goes. I can see why you guys crave this Minestrone :) xo

  14. #
    Alexis @ There She Goes — January 11, 2011 @ 3:32 pm

    Love love love minestrone

  15. #
    Blackbookkitchendiaries — January 11, 2011 @ 5:22 pm

    this version of minestrone sounds so yummy Georgia, i have this bookmarked and will give this a try:) your photos are so gorgeous:) i love the pretty red table cloth in the background.

  16. #
    Nourhan @ Miss Anthropist's Kitchen — January 12, 2011 @ 1:59 pm

    That looks so hearty, I love it!

  17. #
    Cristina — January 12, 2011 @ 6:57 pm

    Hi Georgia: I tried leaving a comment on this post a couple of days ago, and had problems – I guess it didn’t take after all. :(

    Hearty, heart-warming soup with the bits of kielbasa and shell pasta…I’d want a piece of the sausage in every bite. I’m making soup tonight, thanks for the inspiration :)

  18. #
    Rich — January 13, 2011 @ 2:27 pm

    Now that is a great-looking minestrone! I don’t think of soups as something that can serve as an entire meal, but I definitely think that would do the trick!

  19. #
    Stephanie @ Per l'Amore del Cibo — January 14, 2011 @ 10:34 pm

    I really love the ingredient list for this soup! It seems like a great take on an Italian classic.

  20. #
    Christina of Form V Artisan — January 17, 2011 @ 9:54 pm

    Love minestrone. Great photos!
    Swing by my blog sometime @ http://www.form5artisan.blogspot.com

  21. #
    sheila @ Elements — January 20, 2011 @ 4:36 am

    My mouth is watering! I never thought of adding sausage to minestrone but it’s a great idea! Beautiful picture! :)

  22. #
    Kelly — November 23, 2013 @ 6:03 am

    I made this immediately after post. This soup was so tasty. I froze half of it and going to finish it up today. Yum! Thank you for the recipe.

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