As mentioned in a previous blog, we recently had family over for my son's 4th birthday. He requested that we take everyone for lunch at his favorite Chinese restaurant, but since I knew we'd have family in from out of town, I wanted to make sure that I had a lighter dinner available, in case anyone was hungry later in the evening. I knew we'd be having a big lunch, so I thought that soup, salad and bread would surely be sufficient. I kept going back and forth between soup recipes, because my in-laws (and husband) are all very picky eaters, so I wanted to make sure that I had something that would appeal to everyone. My grandmother included her recipe for Minestrone soup in a cookbook that my Mom and sister put together for me as part of my bridal shower gift years ago and it's always been so well liked by anyone who tries it. A single recipe makes a decent amount, but I would highly suggest doubling it, as the leftovers are just as delicious--and perfect for any of you who take your lunches to work...or for those of you who are at home juggling kids and trying to squeeze in five minutes to grab a bite to eat!
1/2 pound bulk Italian Sausage (I ordinarily increase it to a full pound!) 1 cup chopped onion 2 cloves garlic--finely chopped 8 cups water (1) 28 oz can Italian style tomatoes, undrained and broken up 5 teaspoons beef bouillon (or 5 cubes) 4 teaspoons Italian seasoning 1/4 teaspoon pepper 3 medium carrots, pared and sliced (1) 15 1/2 oz can garbanzo beans (chick peas), drained (1) 9 oz package frozen cut green beans, thawed 1/2- 8 oz package spaghetti, broken grated Parmesan cheese
In a large kettle or dutch oven, brown sausage, onion and garlic. Pour off fat. Add remaining ingredients, except green beans, spaghetti and cheese. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for one hour. Stir in beans and spaghetti--bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered ten additional minutes or until spaghetti and green beans are tender. Serve with Parmesan cheese.