Minestrone has been a favorite of my family for many years. It’s best of course on a cold night, or as a first course to a beautiful Italian dinner. We love homemade breadsticks with ours, and a bit of Italian sausage in it as well. You can literally add most vegetables to this soup if you like more or different types of vegetables. Adding spinach instead of cabbage or kale works well also.
Laura’s Gluten Free Minestrone
- 3 T olive oil
- 1 large onion, diced finely
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 medium carrots, diced finely
- 2 stalks of celery or fennel, diced into small pieces
- 3 sweet Italian sausages, casing removed and crumbled
- 1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
- 3 T of tomato paste
- 2 cups of chicken stock (GF)
- 6 cups water
- 2 teaspoons of dried basil
- 1/3 cup of fresh basil broken into pieces
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 teas. thyme
- 3/4 teaspoon of salt (or to taste…some tomatoes are salted)
- 1/2 teas pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon of crushed red pepper
- 2 cups of sliced cabbage (thinly sliced)
- 3/4 cup red wine (optional)
- 1 T balsamic vinegar
- 3 medium potatoes diced in 1 inch pieces
- 1 cup of green beans cut into one inch long pieces
- 2 medium zucchini, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1 – 14 oz. can of cannellini beans or kidney beans
- Saute onion until translucent and golden brown in 2 T olive oil in a large stockpot or dutch oven. Add the pressed garlic and saute for 1 minute on low. Remove the onion and garlic to a small bowl.
- Add the crumbled Italian sausage and brown. Remove.
- Add the diced carrots and celery and saute for 4 to 5 minutes in 1 T of olive oil. Add the Italian sausage back in along with the onion and garlic.
- Next pour in the chicken stock, the can of tomatoes, 3 T tomato paste, 6 cups of water, basil, bay leaf, and thyme, salt, peppers, cabbage, wine and balsamic. Simmer with a lightly cracked lid for 1 hour.
- Add the potatoes and cook for 1/2 hour longer. Then add the remaining vegetables and continue to simmer for another 1/2 hour to 45 minutes.
- Cook some shell or penne pasta (GF) if needed while waiting. Drain and toss with a drizzle of olive oil.
- Ladle into large bowls with a bit of pasta in each bowl or add the pasta to the whole pot of soup (note, the soup will not reheat as well if pasta is added to the pot). Serve with freshly grated Asiago or Parmesan cheese, along with additional crushed red pepper, and of course breadsticks or french bread!