Southern Minestrone Soup

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Southern Minestrone

Makes 8 to 10 servings

  • 1¼ pounds ground mild Italian pork sausage
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 (16-ounce) cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups chopped yellow onion
  • 1 cup chopped carrot
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup frozen field peas with snaps
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic
  • 1¼ teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon ground oregano
  • 2 cups ditalini pasta
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • Garnish: fresh parsley, shaved Parmesan cheese
  1. In a medium skillet, cook sausage over medium heat until browned. Drain well.
  2. In a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker, stir together cooked sausage, broth, beans, tomatoes, onion, carrot, celery, peas, garlic, salt, pepper, and oregano. Cover with lid.
  3. Cook on low heat for 6 hours. Stir in pasta and vinegar. Cook, uncovered, until pasta is tender, about 30 minutes. Garnish with parsley and cheese, if desired.

Kitchen Tip: Adding dried pasta during the last 30 minutes of cooking prevents the pasta from overcooking and absorbing too much liquid.