We have had the best weather these last couple of days. There is like zero humidity, and it’s been in the upper 60’s, low 70’s. For me, that’s perfect, even if it comes with a little bit of rain. I can handle the rain, that just means that my flowers will be watered for me, which means that I have a little bit more time to do something else! Plus…my central air is now shut off, and all of my windows are open letting the fresh air come in!
Having said all that, I do admit to feeling a little bit on the chilly side, so on goes a sweatshirt, and a pot of soup goes on the stove. Making soup is one of my most favorite things to do. There is just nothing better than the smell of soup simmering on the stove all day, which to me, represents the spirit of cooking.
Okay, so maybe the upper 60’s, lower 70’s doesn’t really warrant a pot of soup, but it sounded good…and…it was a great way to use up some of the vegetables that were in the fridge!
I love a thick minestrone, and this one is exactly that. Laden with fresh vegetables, beans, spicy Italian sausage beef, and your favorite type of macaroni…it definitely takes on the role of a stew.
To me, anything goes with this kind of soup, so whatever vegetables you have on hand, toss them in, as there are no boundaries! Make it as simple.. or as complicated as your taste buds prefer, and then ladle this delicious thick soup into big bowls, topped with plenty of parmesan cheese, and then sop up the remnants with some fresh warm bread…and life is truly good.
Life is good. It’s a “Soup in the summer? Absolutely! You can wait until the snow flies, but why would you?” kind of good.
- ½ pound bacon, cut into 1” squares
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 3 medium carrots, sliced
- 3 stalks celery, sliced
- 1 pound spicy or mild Italian sausage, removed from casing (or bulk if you can find it)
- 1 pound stew beef
- ½ pound fresh green beans, cut into thirds
- 3 cups packaged coleslaw mix from bag
- 1 cup corn
- 2 large potatoes, cut into small chunks
- 1 14.5 oz can spicy diced tomatoes
- 1 14.5 oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes
- 1 32 oz box chicken stock
- 1 32 oz box beef stock
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- ¼ tsp crushed red pepper
- 1 small zucchini, sliced (about 1 cup)
- 1 small yellow squash, sliced (about 1 cup)
- 1 can red kidney beans
- 1 cup acini de pepe (or your favorite pasta)
- Cook bacon in a large stock pot until crisp. Keep the bacon and it’s grease right in the pot, and add the onion, garlic, carrots, and celery. Saute until the onions are translucent. Add the Italian sausage that has been removed from the casings, and while it is cooking, break it up with a wooden spoon. Add the stew beef and cook until no pink shows on the outside. Add the green beans, coleslaw, corn, potatoes, tomatoes, chicken stock, beef stock, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, and crushed red pepper. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to low. Simmer uncovered for about two to three hours. Add the zucchini, yellow squash, kidney beans and acini de pepe, and simmer for another 20 minutes, or until the pasta is tender.