Brrr! It’s been cold here this week. This sort of weather makes me crave a hot and hearty bowl of soup. So I thought I’d share one of our family’s favorites today: Mama’s Marvelous Minestrone.
The recipe was given to me many years ago by my dear friend Wendy. It’s fast and easy — the perfect thing for when temperatures begin to dip.
Full of healthful vegetables and clear broth, it has a wonderful flavor our family loves.
- 1 pkg beef smoked sausage
- 1 onion
- minced garlic
- 3-4 zucchini
- 3-4 carrots
- 1 head of green cabbage, shredded
- 8-10 cups beef stock (or water with boullion)
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- 1 can great northern beans
- 2 tsp Italian seasoning
- salt and pepper to taste
Dice the onion coarsely.
Slice sausage into very thin pieces (I sometimes use a food processor for this step) and saute with onion until onion is transparent.
Add minced garlic and sliced zucchini.
Then add carrots.
Shred or chop cabbage finely, then add that to the mixture.
Saute a few minutes longer, then add beef stock and bring to a boil. Add seasonings and tomatoes, reduce heat, and simmer for at least an hour.
I usually put this soup on to cook during morning recess, then let it simmer while I read aloud to the children. Two chapters later, I add the great northern beans (final step) and dish it into bowls.
But Mama’s Marvelous Minestrone will be ready-to-eat even faster in a pressure cooker.
Hint: This recipe doubles easily and can also be frozen. Warm it in a crock-pot the second time around and serve with fresh bread or crackers for a truly fuss-free meal.
Love to cook? You can view a categorized list of my other recipe posts here: Our Favorite Recipes. Or — for even more Flanders family favorites, plus a wealth of ideas for making mealtime memorable — get a copy of my book Sit Down & Eat.
Want to revolutionize your meal planning? Then give freezer cooking a try! My kids and I took a class at our county extension office on how to do this. We brought our groceries along with us, and the instructor coached us through assembling the meals. It was a lot of fun to work together.
I realize not everybody has access to that kind of community educational offerings. But, thanks to the Internet, you can sign up for a FREE Freezer Cooking Class just like the one my family attended in person. The instructor provides a nice variety of delicious recipes (10 in total), a detailed shopping list, ready-to-print freezer labels, and step-by-step instruction on how to assemble everything in less than an hour.