Soup season is officially upon us. This smoked sausage minestrone is the answer to even the coldest winter nights. This dish only requires 10 minutes of prep in the morning and then you can set it and forget it in the slow cooker. When you get home from work/school, dinner is served.
I love slow cooker recipes because they are so easy and are a total lifesaver when I’m exhausted at the end of the day and would sooner eat an entire bowl of homemade popcorn and a pint of ice cream than make a real meal.
If you’re in a rush in the mornings, you can always do the prep work the night before and store them in resealable plastic bags in the fridge overnight so everything is ready to toss in the slow cooker come dawn.
At first glance, you might think this dish is shy on spices but the smoked sausage (I used Kielbasa) adds so much flavour as it cooks low and slow for 6-8 hours.
I sourced my Kielbasa from The Butchery in Bells Corners. If you haven’t been in and you live in the west end, or you’re out for a drive, stop in. The Butchery has a beautiful selection of meats and prepared foods, in the event that you don’t feel like cooking.
I’m trying to cut back on my gluttony in anticipation of the always indulgent holiday season so I didn’t make cheesy crostini to accompany this soup but would definitely recommend if you’re going for the full comfort food effect.
This hearty soup is the perfect antidote to a cold winter's night. For extra comfort, make a cheesy crostini accompaniment by topping thinly sliced baguette with grated cheddar and pop in a 375 degree oven until cheese is melted.
- 450 g smoked sausages such as kielbasa
- 1 1/2 cup chopped carrots
- 1 1/2 cup chopped celery
- 1 onion diced
- 8 sprigs fresh parsley
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 4 cups sodium-reduced chicken broth
- 2 cups water
- 1 sweet red pepper diced
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1 cup tubetti pasta or orzo
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley optional
In slow cooker, combine sausage, carrots, celery, onion, parsley sprigs, bay leaves, Italian seasoning, pepper, broth and water; cover and cook on low until vegetables are tender, 6 to 8 hours.
Discard parsley and bay leaves; using slotted spoon, transfer sausage to cutting board. Add red pepper, peas and pasta to slow cooker; cover and cook on high until red pepper is tender and pasta is al dente, 15 to 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, slice sausage crosswise into rounds; return to slow cooker. Ladle soup into bowls; sprinkle with chopped parsley (if using). Serve with crusty bread or cheesy crostini.
Recipe from: Danter, Jennifer. "Smoked Sausage Minestrone." Canadian Living. November 2017.