Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Minestrone soup with sausage

For Presto Pasta Nights this week, I decided to make a pasta soup instead of a main dish or salad. The autumnal weather definitely calls for something warm and hearty, and a large bowl of hot soup with some wram crusty bread is just so comforting. Soups are also a great way to use up vegetables languishing at the bottom of the fridge so feel free to throw whatever you have instead of following the recipe strictly (e.g. potatoes, celery, squash, beans, mushrooms).

The addition of sausage meat rolled into little meatballs add great flavour to the soup and will also be a hit with kids. You can also use alphabet pasta in the soup for young diners, or those young at heart. If using small shell pasta or other shapes, it might be a good idea to cook the pasta separately and add them to the soup at the end, so that the pasta does not get to soft and soggy or expand too much in the soup. Since it takes almost the same amount of effort to make soup for 2 or for 6, I always make a large pot. Leftover soup can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days, or frozen for up to 1 month. Store it without the pasta unless you don't mind them soft and bloated. We had this minestrone soup with bread and cheese.

Sausage minestrone 1

Ingredients (serves 4)

2 tbsp olive oil
200g sausage meat (about 2-3 sausages)
1 medium onion, diced
1 clove of garlic, minced
2 medium carrots, diced
1 medium leek (white part only), sliced into rounds
1.5 litre chicken or vegetable stock
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
2 bay leaves
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1 cup uncooked pasta (small shells or elbow macaroni)


1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, carrots, leek and and dried oregano and sautee until the onion has just turned translucent.
2. Add the stock, tinned tomatoes and bay leaves and bring to the boil. Cover and simmer on low heat for about 30 minutes.
3. While the soup is simmering, heat a little oil in a frying pan. Shape the sausage meat into small marble-sized balls and brown them in the pan. This will seal juices and flavour and prevent the meatballs from disintegrating in the soup. Add the browned meatballs to the soup where it will finish cooking. Check for seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste. (The sausage meat will flavour the soup; I didn't need to add salt or pepper in mine.)
4. Cook the pasta in a separate pan of boiling water according to packet instructions. Divide the cooked pasta amongst soups bowls. Ladle the soup over the pasta and serve immediately.

Sausage minestrone 2

There is still plenty of time to send in your entry for Presto Pasta Nights this week. Please send your entries to nilmandra(at)soyandpepper(dot)com with the following information:

1) Name
2) Blog title and URL
3) URL of the post containing your pasta dish
4) A picture of your pasta dish

The deadline is Friday 21st of November. In your write up, please mention and link to Presto Pasta Nights and Soy and Pepper. I have already received a number of delicious-looking and some very creative entries, and I look forward to more great ideas from you. As long as it is pasta or noodles, send it in!



I love anything soupy!

gloness said...

i love it! and i'm most def gonna make it tomorrow! :]

kokostiletto said...

mm this sounds good! i'm going to try this one soon - i tried your receipt for teriyaki chicken - it was great - thanks!

Annika said...

Beautiful pictures! I wish the weather was becoming more suitable for comfort food! Still not cold enough for me...

Mrs Ergül said...

I will be sending you my entry for this week's PPN roundup in a day :)

This minestrone looks great!

didally said...

This is good as a comfort food, especially on cold nights. I feel like having some now.

Food For Tots said...

Oh! What a co-incidence! I just made this pasta soup for dinner. I used celery instead of leek and added in potato. It is indeed a hit for everyone from young to old even my mother-in-law. You are such an experienced kid expert now! Lovely shot!

noobcook said...

very hearty indeed. I love minestrone soup and what a great idea to add pasta in them :)

Ruth Daniels said...

Perfect for the blizzard we're expecting...10cm/6" tonight and more of the same tomorrow ;-0!!

Thanks for hosting Presto Pasta Night this week. I can't wait to see what other dishes I can make while stuck in the house.

tigerfish said...

I want to have that minestrone with sausage too!

Mary said...

I love this recipe. I can't wait to try it.

Allergy Mom said...

Oh, this is wonderful! There's no dearth of recipes aimed at either kids or adults. Recipes like this that appeal to all ages are real treasures. Thanks for sharing!

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