I’ve been so cold lately that I actually told Eric yesterday that I want to own Sherpa-lined everything. I’m so glad I made soup this weekend to help warm me up so that I didn’t make any rash wardrobe decisions. It’s bad enough I bought a navy blue leopard print scarf last Friday.
I made this soup to enjoy with my best friend on Saturday night. No, not Matt. I would have had him over, but Matt was out with – of all people – Eric. What’s a girl to do when her male best friend gets together with her husband to have a manly night out on the town complete with a Bruin’s game and lots of beer?
Throw on comfy clothes – complete with that aforementioned scarf – and have her best lady friend over for some soup and gossip, that’s what.
I actually gave Kadi a quick shout out in my post about pancakes and Matt. I believe I referred to her as a “cute little blonde chick,” but since that instantly conjures up mental images of mean girls, let’s just call her awesome.
I wish I got to see Kadi more than I do, but since we don’t live as close to one another as we’d like, we’re fortunate we have one of those friendships that’s impervious to the toll time can sometimes take on things. We pick up where we left off each and every time. For instance, when Kadi came over on Saturday, she showed up around seven – and next thing I knew – it was eleven. Four hours. Gone. Bam.
Eric’s man date was over, but Kadi and I still sat at the dining room table – squawking about something.
I guess it goes without saying that our conversation lasted longer than dinner.
Our dinner – this soup – was pretty delicious even though it didn’t last long. Actually, that’s exactly why it didn’t last long.
I decided to call it “More Than Minestrone” because it’s got all those veggies and goodness you get with your run of the mill minestrone, but then I brought the hearty to the party.
If that last sentence didn’t serve as enough of an indicator, I haven’t really been to any parties lately. Hence the Saturday nights at home with my best friend. Insert ironic hash tag here.
So, back to the soup – it’s got the extra oomph my social life is clearly lacking.
More Than Minestrone
Serves: 8 generous, glorious bowls full
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes or more
20 ounces Italian Turkey Sausage, removed from casing
1 large Vidalia onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups diced celery, stalks and leaves
4 carrots, sliced
4 cups chicken broth
30 ounces water
15 ounce can tomato sauce
15 ounce can fire roasted tomatoes – if you can find roasted garlic, go for it
15 ounce can kidney or cannellini beans, rinsed well and drained
2 cups thinly sliced kale or spinach
3 zucchini, halved and sliced
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried basil
1/3 cup parmesan – I use the cheap-o stuff in a canister, but feel free to get fancy
salt and pepper, to taste
10 ounces frozen cheese tortellini
In a large stock pot – I’m talking the biggest pot you have – brown the turkey sausage over medium-high heat. This should not take more than a few minutes – just break the meat apart with a spoon and keep an eye on everything as you go. If there’s a lot of excess fat, discard all but 1 tablespoon.
Lower the burner to medium-low heat, and add the diced onion. Sauté for 4 to 5 minutes, then add garlic and let cook for another minute or two. Then, add all the celery and carrots, sauté a few minutes, until everything’s smelling and looking good.
Add chicken broth, tomato sauce, fire roasted tomatoes and water – bring to boil, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to low and add beans, greens, zucchini, oregano, basil and parmesan. Simmer for 30 to 40 minutes, the longer the better. During the last 10 minutes, add the frozen tortellini and once cooked, season with salt and pepper.
Serve with extra parmesan up on top and toasted bread with or without lots of butter.
This recipe can easily be adapted to use whatever you have on hand. No celery, no problem! Hate zucchini? Sub in something else. It’s simple as that – you get the idea. Oh, and vegetarians – if you leave out the sausage and sub out the stock – you’re good to get your grub on too.
Kadi and I have our fair share of differences, sure – but we also have a lot in common. For instance, we both appreciate good food (i.e. we can eat) and we like to share meals we make with the ones we love. We also both happen to be extremely impatient. I think Kadi asked for this recipe three times before she left on Saturday and I’m sure she’s eagerly anticipating this blog post.
I hope she is, anyway. Otherwise, I started blogging again for nothing 😉