So it’s officially fall. The heat is on permanently, I’ve stopped biking to work because the days are too short and all I want is to stuff my face with casseroles and pastas and all things warm and cheesy.
Soups tend not to fit in to these categories, but minestrone is different. It’s a SOUP. Know what I’m sayin’?
Minestrone is a perfect option for big batch cooking. It’s easy to double with very little extra effort and it freezes perfectly. It’s easy to adjust the healthy factor too – for my batch I bought no-salt added stock and tomatoes to control the sodium content, and seasoned to my taste when the batch was cooked. Feel free to swap the pork sausage with chicken or turkey too.
Using a sharp knife, make a slice in the sausage casing and remove the meat.
Try to chop all the veggies in to roughly equal size pieces – yes, it looks pretty but they’ll also cook more evenly.
Remove stems of the swiss chard, slice large leaves in half, stack them all up and slice. Kale would also work like a dream in this soup, but would change the flavour a bit more.
Looks like it’ll be too much, but it wilts – promise!
This optional bit adds loads of flavours – this is about a 1/2″ piece of parmesan with the rind. I’ve been saving it for something like this. As the soup simmers down, the rest of cheese melts into the soup.
Many versions of minestrone also include pasta, which I love. I don’t find the pasta freezes especially well, so I’ll cook it separately and add it after the fact if I want to make even more of a meal out of it. I plan on serving this batch with homemade bread!
Happy cold weather eating!