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


  • 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

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.

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! 


28 thoughts on “Winter Minestrone

  1. Your husband cracks me up. Love the screen saver jokes he plays on you. Enjoy lunch out today–that dish does look delicious. Although, your soup if fair competition. Yum. And don’t forget to pick up more hot sauce–it would be a travesty to run out! 🙂

    • Dammit! I forgot to add it to the list and I am almost out. Next time – hey Michelle, have you tried the gelato at Mariano’s?? They have mini samples for $1 – I got hazelnut chocolate and it was to die for!

  2. Your soup looks great – I”ve got artisan bread on my list of things to do today

  3. Aw, Poor Tony. I can’t even think about Ed without tearing up, so I’ve been avoiding your blog so I can save face (no waterproof mascara here).

    I think I might have to try your bread recipe. I work with a sourdough starter and use a similar method that I read about in Jim Lahey’s book on artisan bread making. So, I’d be curious how successful I’d be in adapting your recipe to include my starter. Hmm….

    Anyhow, enjoy your Saturday and your lunch.

    • Do you have the sourdough starter on your blog? I’ve always wanted to attempt sourdough bread, it’s one of our favorites. I’ll go look!

      • Hi, Biz. I don’t have it on my blog as I wrote about it for a magazine article and they have first publication rights. Anyhow, it’s really easy. Mix 1/2 cup bread flour (I use King Arthur) with 1/2 cup of warm water in a clean Mason jar that will allow for expansion. Cover with a piece of plastic wrap with a hole punched in the top for the air to escape. I used my microwave as a proofing box. It should start bubbling within 12-18 hours. Once it bubbles, feed 1/2 cup bread flour, 1/2 cup warm water and then when it ferments again, remove 1/2 cup of starter, dispose of it, and feed it again. Keep up the process until it can regularly double on its own and has a sweet fermented smell.

        I wish you lived near me, so I could send some your way. Once it gets going, it’s literally like having rabbits on hand.

        Once you get it going, let me know, and I will walk you through the bread process I use. It’s similar to yours, but it uses a lot less flour and the ferment rise is 18-24 hours. Also, no water in the oven.

      • Thanks! I can’t wait to try this!

  4. Goodness, you sure can get alot done in 1 hour. I was pooped just reading it….lol! Soup looks good, have to make some today….maybe yours, don’t have Italian sausage….maybe I will use some beef for a stew or something. That artisian bread is the best!!!

    Have a great weekend!!

  5. Okay the KERF/giant loaf o’ bread thing slays me. Every time. I’m a Smugnom fan too, and I literally laughed out loud when I saw it there. My first comment, and I’m just backing up the hilariousness of that picture.

  6. Oh come on you probably love KERF. She must bring in a huge number of visitors. 😉

  7. I’ve tried several minestrone recipes and haven’t found one I loved yet. 😦

  8. Funny, I used to read smugnom before bed every night. Haven’t visited in the last week though. too busy

  9. Buffalo tabasco? Tell me more.
    I made a minestrone recently that was to die for. It took about a day and half to make, ha, but totally worth it!

  10. Glad Tony could give you a good laugh 🙂 I hope you guys had a good and relaxing weekend.

  11. That little crab on top of the crab cake (I assume?) is adorable!

  12. The soup looks tasty!

    Curious ?, haven’t heard of ‘smugnom’, is all she does is make fun of KERF? I tried to find an ‘about’ button and couldn’t.

    • Yep, that’s all she does is recap KERF posts so that if you are a lurker like I was you could find out what she is up to without going to the KERF site to give her revenue.

  13. So odd that I am just not really into soups this winter. That needs to change, you are sharing some great one. I can’t even hate read KERF anymore, such a wasted opportunity! Hope you had a good weekend, I am sure it was not easy getting used to Ed’s absence. Hugs to you and Tony!

  14. That’s a keeper, definitely. YUM. Never had minestrone with sausage in it tho’. YUM, YUM, YUM.

    And look at you, making money on your good cookin’. ‘Bout time I gotta’ say. Congrats.

    You’ve inspired me [once again, tyvm <3] I am going to the gym in the morning. Gotta' keep this rockin' body for the long suffering one, eh? ::laughing::

    You're the best Bizzy. Never forget that. Love, Skip

  15. Tony has so much fun jokes for you all the time. Love it.

    I love Minestrone and yours look delicious. I don’t make it that often because my boring husband (and that is only when it’s about food) doesn’t like too much veggies in his soup. Oh well, I might make it anyway just for me and put some in the freezer.

    • Fran, I have to tell you that I thought a couple of the male attorneys wouldn’t even try it because of the veggies and beans, but they both gave it a big thumbs up! R might like it!

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