After a long search for the perfect Minestrone soup, I came across a winner. This version turned out flavorful and filling, with subtle smoky undertones. It tastes rather sophisticated, which is why you may be surprised at the addition of a can of bean with bacon soup in the ingredients. Just go with it! The addition of the condensed soup adds a subtle smokiness to the soup that compliments everything so well. This soup is great the first night, and even better as leftovers. It makes a fantastic freezer meal as well! The original recipe comes from this cookbook, but I’ve made a few tweaks that make it even better. If you’re looking for a more traditional all-vegetable soup, try this Vegetable Minestrone!
- Italian Sausage – You’ll need one pound of Italian sausage. You can find this in either links or bulk in your store’s meat department. If using links, you will need to remove the meat from the casings. Most Italian sausage is labeled either “sweet” or “hot” which basically just means spicy and not-spicy. I always grab the non-spicy “sweet” one, but feel free to use either!
- Bean With Bacon Soup –We’re talking good old condensed bean with bacon soup here. This may seem like a strange ingredient but, trust me, it adds a subtle richness and smoky flavor to the finished soup.
- Red Pepper Flakes – Speaking of heat, feel free to adjust the red pepper flakes as you see fit. 1/8 teaspoon will add some nice flavor without being overwhelmingly spicy. If you like a little kick, feel free to bump it up to 1/4 teaspoon or more.
The instructions here are very simple. Brown the aromatics and then toss everything in and simmer!
- Start off by browning some Italian sausage with diced onions and minced garlic. Drain if necessary.
- Then everything else gets added to the pot. First you’ll add some water, followed by celery, carrots, and zucchini. Then the canned ingredients: beef broth, bean with bacon soup, diced tomatoes, and great northern beans. Finish it off with a little sugar, oregano, kosher salt, and black and red pepper.
- Bring everything to a boil, then reduce the heat and allow it to simmer for an hour. Serve topped with Parmesan cheese and your favorite bread for dipping.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Can I make minestrone soup ahead of time? This soup actually shines brighter after reheating, in my opinion. Feel free to make it a day ahead of time and reheat as needed.
- Can I freeze this soup? Minestrone freezes beautifully. Freeze the prepared soup in individual portions or follow these freezer instructions for the whole batch: Cook sausage, onions, and garlic and drain if necessary. Place in a large Ziploc bag or large freezer-safe container. Add remaining ingredients. When ready to cook, Place contents of the bag in a large slow cooker and cook on low for 9-10 hours or on high for 6-8.
- Can I make in it the slow cooker if it hasn’t been frozen? Yep, simply brown the sausage, onion, and garlic in a frying pan and then transfer to a slow cooker. Add the remaining ingredients and cook all day on low.
I think we all know that some good bread is order here! This Easy No Knead Overnight Artisan Bread is perfect for dipping. One-Hour Dinner Rolls whip up fast for yeast bread and French Bread, Hoagies, and Buns or Rosemary Focaccia would be delicious, too. Of course a simple grilled cheese sandwich and side salad would round things out nicely as well.
Did You Make This?
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This Italian sausage and vegetable soup is quick and easy to assemble, then it just needs to simmer to perfection.
- 1 pound Italian sausage
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 cups water
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 2 large carrots, diced
- 1–2 small zucchinis, quartered and chopped
- 1 14.5-ounce can beef broth
- 1 10-ounce can bean with bacon soup
- 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
- 1 15-ounce can Great Northern Beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/8–1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Remove sausage from casings and crumble the meat. In a large soup pot, brown Italian sausage with onions and garlic. Carefully drain, if necessary.
- Add remaining ingredients, bring to a boil, cover, and then reduce to a simmer. Simmer on low for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Serve with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.