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Minestrone Soup w/Sausage

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Ingredients You'll Need

2 lbs. bulk Italian sausage, or 2 lbs.ground pork mixed with 2 TB. Italian sausage seasoning
2 TB. olive oil
1 medium onion, peeled and diced
1/2 lb. carrots, peeled and chopped into coins (4-5 carrots)
2 small zucchini, halved and sliced about 1/4 thick
1 large (28 oz.) can diced tomatoes with juice
1/4 head of cabbage, shredded (3-4 Cups)
1/2 tsp.minced garlic
1-1/2 tsp. basil
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
2 bay leaves
1-1/2 tsp. parsley flakes
3 tsp. beef soup base
10 Cups water
2 15 oz. cans white canellini beans, rinsed (if you can't find these, canned light kidney beans will work)
1 Cup small pasta shells
grated Parmesan or Romano cheese for topping


In a large nonstick skillet, brown sausage over medium heat, 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently. When it is browned on all sides, set aside to drain on paper toweling. In a soup pot, cook the onion in the olive oil over medium heat until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the carrots and zucchini and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, cabbage, garlie, basil, pepper, bay leaves and parsley and stir to combine. Add the beef base, water and cooked sausage. Simmer for 30 minutes over medium low heat, then raise heat to high to bring to a boil. Add the dry pasta and white beans. Cook until the pasta is done, about 10-12 minutes. Serve, or reduce heat to low and simmer until ready to eat. Serve each bowl topped with grated Romano or Parmesan cheese.

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