Minestrone with Sausage


This one warms the soul on a cold day:

Minestrone Soup with Sausage

3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1/2 - 1 pound of sausage (I used our own pork sausage)
1 onion, thinly sliced or diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup canned chopped or diced tomatoes
2 Tablespoons or more of fresh herbs, such as italian seasoning or parsley, sage, marjoram
1 small red or yellow bell pepper, diced
3-4 cups chicken stock
salt to taste
pepper to taste
1/2 to 1 cup macaroni noodles - your favorite shape
1/2 to 1 cup canned, drained great northern beans or pinto or kidney beans
1 can green peas, drained
Parmesan Cheese, freshly grated
French bread or cornbread for serving

Heat the oil in a large pan over medium-low heat. Add the sausage and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is just colored.

Add the garlic, tomatoes and herbs - cook for about 5 minutes, stirring. Add the bell pepper, cover and cook 5 more minutes.

Pour in the chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover and let simmer for 30 minutes or so.

Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the macaroni noodles and beans and simmer for another 15 minutes or so, until the macaroni is just tender.

Stir in the peas and cook an additional 5 minutes.

Serve in bowls over french bread or cornbread if desired. Sprinkle with freshly grated parmesan cheese.