Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Hearty Minestrone

Adapted from Taste of Home Magazine

I have had more requests for this recipe than any other recipe in my collection. It is delicious! I often make a number of large batches when tomatoes and zucchini are plentiful from my garden, then freeze it for quick entertaining in the winter. 

1 lb. bulk Sweet Italian sausage*
2 c. sliced celery
1 c. chopped onion
6 c. chopped zucchini
1 (28-oz.) can tomatoes, undrained, cut up
1½ c. chopped green pepper
1½ t. Italian seasoning
1½ t. salt
1 t. dried oregano
1 t. sugar
½ t. dried basil
2 cloves garlic, minced or ¼ t. garlic powder
2 c. chopped Swiss chard (optional)
1 (16-oz.) can chicken broth (optional)

In a large saucepan, brown the sausage. Remove with a slotted spoon to paper towel to drain, reserving 1 T. of drippings. Saut√© celery and onion in drippings for 5 min. Add sausage and remaining ingredients; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 20-30 min. or until the vegetables are tender. Add Swiss chard, if desired and heat.  Add 1 16-oz. can of chicken broth if a less hearty soup is desired.

*Note: I use sweet Italian sausage. Do not substitute – this is the secret to the great flavor in this recipe!!
Yield: 9 servings

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