I don’t know about everybody else, but after the week-long junk food bonanza also known as Halloween, my body is craving something a little more wholesome. Does anyone remember vegetables? Yeah, I know, it’s been so long that I can hardly remember them…

Sara and I have talked a lot about finding “the one.” For years, I searched for the perfect Minestrone recipe. Time after time, they all just came out pretty flavorless and a little bit flat, like they were just missing something. Finally, I tried the Minestrone recipe from this cookbook. And it was exactly what I was looking for. Wanna know what the secret ingredient is? Canned, condensed, cheap-o Bean with Bacon Soup. It’s so diluted that you can’t actually taste its Bean with Bacon-ness, but it adds a richness and slight smokiness to the soup that is fabulous.
Since I can’t seem to make a recipe without tweaking, I added some zucchini and an extra can of beans. The zucchini addition is optional, but I think the extra can of beans is important, especially since there isn’t any pasta in this soup. Also, this soup is good the first night, but it is fabulous as leftovers. If there’s any way to make this ahead of time, let it chill, and then re-heat it, I HIGHLY recommend you do that. It is THIS very thing that makes this a great freezer meal; just prepare the soup entirely, allow it to cool, and then freeze it in a freezer-safe container. When you’re ready to eat it, just place the frozen soup in your Crockpot and cook on low for 5-6 hours.


  1. Jenn–Sorry! Yes, definitely remove from the casings first! I went back and fixed it in the recipe… 🙂

    Paula, you're not missing anything, I'm just apparently missing a brain. Yes, those are red pepper flakes, around 1/8-1/4 tsp. If in doubt, start with a large pinch and go from there.

  2. Kate, this looks like another great soup recipe. I noticed that there is a red spice in the picture. Is it red pepper flakes? Maybe I missed an ingredient?

  3. This looks delicious & I am adding it to my menu for the week. I'm a little confused about the sausage though. Do I need to remove the casing before I cook it so the sausage can crumble? You don't leave it in link form, right?

  4. This looks fabulous. I'm excited to try the bean with bacon soup. I'm wondering though, how it can be minestrone without pasta. Isn't that like, what makes it minestrone? I think I'll add some to mine 🙂

  5. THank you so much for posing this. I am starting to make some freezer meals before this baby comes and I want lots of soups.

  6. I just sent this recipe to RonChops so he could get the ingredients for us. He's grocery shopping today and we need this soup this week! It's 42 here!!!

    Thanks for sharing!

    Warm HUGS you guys!

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