a hearty italian minestrone soup recipe, made with sausage, veggies, beans, kale, & a garlic & herb infused broth. this minestrone soup is comforting, rich, & the perfect cozy recipe to make all winter long. the ultimate minestrone soup!
- 1 pound spicy Italian sausage (see Recipe Notes)
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 2 medium carrots, diced
- 2 ribs celery, diced
- 1 head garlic, halved crosswise & excess paper removed (see Recipe Notes)
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 sprig rosemary
- 8-10 leaves sage
- 8-10 sprigs thyme
- optional: parmesan rind (see Recipe Notes)
- 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 64 ounces low-sodium chicken stock
- 2 14-ounce cans cannellini beans, drained & rinsed
- 1 bunch kale, destemmed & finely shredded
- optional: 1 cup ditalini pasta, cooked according to package directions (see Recipe Notes)
- Kosher salt & ground black pepper, to season
- for serving, as desired: shaved parmesan, crusty buttered bread
- Brown the sausage: Add the sausage to a 7-quart Dutch oven or a large pot over medium-high heat. Brown the sausage for 5-7 minutes, using a wooden spoon to break the sausage into bite-sized crumbles as it cooks. Once browned, transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside.
- Cook the aromatics: Turn the heat under the Dutch oven down to medium. The sausage should have rendered a bit of fat, but if you need to, add a splash of olive oil to the Dutch oven. Add the onion, carrots and celery to the Dutch oven. Season with ¼ teaspoon each salt and ground black pepper, and stir to combine. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the veggies are softened, 5-7 minutes. Add in the halved head of garlic, and the bay leaves, rosemary, sage & thyme – I like to leave the herbs whole, using kitchen twine to tie all the herbs together into a little bundle for easy removal. If you have an extra parmesan rind in your fridge, throw it on into the pot at this time too! Stir to combine.
- Simmer the soup: Pour the crushed tomatoes and chicken stock into the Dutch oven and stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes. Once the minestrone has simmered, add the sausage back into the pot, along with the beans and kale. Stir to combine well. Cook for another 5 minutes, until the sausage & beans are warmed through and the kale is wilted. Taste and season with additional Kosher salt & ground black pepper as needed – the amount you need totally depends on the saltiness of your sausage & your chicken stock, so be sure to taste & season as needed!
- Optional: Boil the pasta: Meanwhile, as the soup simmers, you can boil some pasta if you’d like to add it to your minestrone. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta to al dente according to package directions. Strain and set aside for serving.
- Serve! When you’re ready to serve your minestrone, remove & discard the herb bundle and the parmesan, if you used one. You can also remove & discard the garlic – but I like to carefully squeeze the cooked cloves of garlic out of the bulb & into the soup – YUM. Add some of your cooked pasta to the bottom of a large soup bowl. Ladle the minestrone over top. Finish with a sprinkling of grated parmesan and serve with some crusty buttered bread as desired. Enjoy!
- Dutch oven: I like making this minestrone, and all the soups & chilis I make, in a nice Dutch oven. The heaviness of the pot retains heat well & evenly. This is the Dutch oven pictured in this post. I love it. I also own this Dutch oven, which is a little more budget friendly & works great!
- Sausage: I love the spiciness of a good spicy Italian sausage in this minestrone! You can definitely use a mild Italian sausage, if you prefer, or a turkey Italian sausage. Turkey Italian sausage will render way less fat than a traditional beef & pork Italian sausage, so add extra olive oil as needed to brown the sausage & cook the aromatics in Steps 1-2.
- Garlic: A whole head?! Heck yes! It’s my favorite hack to adding TONS of flavor to store-bought stock with hardly any effort. Halve the head of garlic crosswise, exposing the cloves (pictured above). Use your fingers to rub off & remove any excess paper, then just toss it on into the pot! Remove the garlic when you serve the soup – or squeeze those cloves right into the soup for an occasional bite of garlicky heaven.
- Parmesan rind: While not at all necessary for making this minestrone delicious, you can toss a parmesan rind into the soup, & as it simmers it’ll infuse a rich, parmesan-y flavor into the soup that takes this minestrone completely over the top. You can freeze parmesan rinds as you make them for use in soups & stews. Whole Foods & other grocery stores with nice cheese sections also sell parmesan rinds.
- Pasta: Totally optional in this minestrone recipe! Sometimes I’ll add it in, sometimes I won’t. Totally depends on my mood! If you’d like to skip the pasta, I recommend cutting down the amount of stock you use in the soup Use it or not, your minestrone will still be delicious & hearty.
- Freezing minestrone soup: This recipe makes one BIG batch of minestrone, & it freezes really well. Let any leftover minestrone cool to room temperature before transferring into freezer-safe containers and freezing for up to 3 months. These are the ones I love to use! Be sure to freeze without any pasta in it, since the pasta will absorb liquid.
Keywords: hearty minestrone soup, minestrone soup recipe