Minestrone

Serves 4-5 

Ingredients
1 lb. kielbasa sausage, cut in half lengthwise and sliced
1 onion, diced
2 bell peppers (I use red and green), diced
3 carrots, peeled and diced
4 stalks celery, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 28 oz. can whole plum tomatoes (Italian-style or regular) and their juice
1 quart chicken broth or stock
1 14.5 oz. can Great Northern or canellini beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 tsp. dried oregano
1-2 Tbsp. fresh basil (or 1 tsp. dry)
1 1/2 cups dry medium-sized pasta (orrechiette or shells)
olive oil, salt, and pepper

Directions
In a large soup pot or Dutch oven, brown sausage in a small drizzle of olive oil. Remove sausage and set aside.

Add onion, bell peppers, carrots, and celery to pot, stirring to scrape up any brown bits. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper and continue to cook over medium heat until veggies are crisp-tender, about 10-15 minutes. Add garlic to pot and cook 1 minute more. Return sausage to soup pot.

Using your hands, break up or crush the tomatoes into the soup pot. Add tomato juices and the chicken broth to the pot. Stir in beans, oregano, and basil. Cover and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer about 20 minutes.

While soup is simmering, cook pasta according to package directions in a separate pot. Cook until al dente. Drain and add to soup pot. Stir to combine and add 1-2c water if necessary, or if more broth is desired.

Enjoy!