Winter Minestrone

Thanks again for your continued virtual hugs about Ed. Tony hasn’t gotten the courage to read the comments to yesterdays post, but I know when he’s ready he will appreciate it!

Since I got home so late Thursday night, I didn’t prepare anything for my Souper Friday at work.  I had promised minestrone soup and my rosemary artisan bread.  I ended up making the dough Thursday night and just left it on the counter.

So here was my morning yesterday:

  • 7:00 – wake up 30 minute after my alarm went off – shit!
  • 7:02 – heat oven with dutch oven in it to 450 degrees
  • 7:04 – roll out dough and put in parchment paper
  • 7:05 – put water in a pot to cook pasta for minestrone
  • 7:07 – download pictures for blog post
  • 7:10 – write blog post and publish
  • 7:25 – drain pasta and put in container
  • 7:30 – brown sausage for minestrone soup
  • 7:35 – throw every other ingredient needed in a bag to take to work
  • 7:40 – jump in the shower
  • 7:50 – take bread out of the oven
  • 7:55 – pack the car
  • 8:00 – leave for work

Whew!  Luckily I had a slow morning at work and I could assemble the rest of the soup there.  This one got RAVE reviews.  I adapted the recipe from this one – she had swiss chard and onions and mushrooms in hers (#not).

Winter Minestrone


  • this made a lot! probably 15 cups? Each cup serving: 211 calories, 6.1 fat, 387 carbs, 6.3 fiber and 8.4 protein
  • Ingredients:
  • 1 pound of sweet Italian sausage (I used Johnsonville)
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 3 stalks of celery, sliced
  • One 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • Two cans of water (using the 28 ounce can)
  • six packets of chicken broth
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 1 stem of fresh rosemary chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can northern beans (rinsed and drained)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 cups of spinach, roughly chopped
  • 8 ounces shell pasta, cooked separately


  1. So here’s how I put this together. At home I cooked the pasta and browned the sausage in the 1 teaspoon olive oil. When I got to work, I put the tomato sauce, tomato paste, two cans of water, and the chicken broth packets and using a whisk, broke up the tomato paste. I added the garlic, carrots and celery, rosemary, Italian seasoning cayenne pepper, and salt and pepper and turned my crock pot to high, or 4 hour setting.
  2. After two hours, the carrots were cooked, but still had a nice texture. I drained the cans of beans and added those. 15 minutes before serving I added in the cooked pasta. 5 minutes before serving, I added the fresh chopped spinach.

souper 011

The sausage really flavored the soup nicely, and everyone liked the added heat of the cayenne pepper.  The only mistake I made was leaving the crock pot on high before I went to go work out – my noodles were kind of way overcooked by the time I ate it at 1:30, so my suggestion if you make this is to keep the noodles on the side, that way when you reheat the leftovers the pasta isn’t over cooked.

I ended up walking for my workout – my blood sugar was at 185 and I didn’t want to overdo it – felt good though to get moving!

Everyone LOVED the bread.  I thought ahead and saved myself a small piece, because when I got back from the gym nothing was left.  The cost of the ingredients for this soup was $11, the sausage being the most expensive ingredient at $5 for the 1 pound package.  I made $44 dollars, so I net $33 bucks – not bad!

souper 006

And dinner was simple – I defrosted some Cincinnati chili and had chili mac for dinner – with lots of Buffalo Tabasco – I am almost out though!

souper 020

So you guys know that I don’t keep it a secret that I can’t stand KERF.  If you missed it, I’ve had two controversial posts about her.

If you haven’t seen, you can read KERF post recaps there without actually going to KERF’s site.  I just love that they call her husband Bath Matt.  And she shared the pictures Kath shares with the world, such as this classic:


So imagine my surprise when I went to the computer last night to download my pictures, and Tony so thoughtfully changed our screen saver:

souper 016

Thanks for making me laugh Tony – I needed that!

We are going grocery shopping and then going out to lunch – we tried to go to this place last weekend but they stopped serving lunch at 2:00 and we got there at 1:55. Sad smile

Doesn’t this look delicious?!


Mara, you and I need to have dinner here soon!

Other than that, we have no plans – here’s hoping the snow out East isn’t too bad – sending virtual hugs to all my blog friends out there – hang in there!

Have a great weekend – see you on Monday!