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  • 3 hot Italian sausage links
  • 6 strips bacon, diced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 1/2 cup carrots, diced
  • 1 zucchini, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • fresh thyme sprigs
  • 3 celery stalks, whole
  • 1 box chopped tomatoes
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 3 bay leaves
  • kosher salt/pepper
  • 1/2 pound penne mezze pasta
  • 2 cans cannellini beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 bag baby spinach
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons prepared pesto
  • freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • chiffonades of basil
  • 4 slices bread
  • 12 slices Gruyere cheese
  • 4 slices deli ham
  • butter

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I love soups of all kinds. Minestrone Soup is one of my favorites. This is my take on Ina’s Garten’s Winter Minestrone Soup.  It is super easy to prepare, and so flavorful. I use a jarred pesto, but feel free to make and use your own!

a bowl of minestrone soup

Start boiling a pot of water for your pasta. Do NOT forget to salt your water. In a soup pot, heat up the olive oil. Remove the sausage from the casing and add to the pot along with the bacon pieces.

Once the meat is browned, add in the shallot, carrots, zucchini, garlic, fresh thyme leaves and celery stalks. Feel free to chop up the celery, I just do no prefer it in my soup. I add the stalks for flavor and then remove later.

Drop your pasta and cook to al dente. Drain and reserve.

Cook your vegetables for about ten minutes to soften. Add the chopped tomatoes, chicken stock, bay leaves, salt and pepper. Allow the pot to come to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 25 to 30 minutes.

Remove and discard the bay leaves and celery stalks. Add the cannellini beans, spinach, and pesto. Stir and add the pasta. If your soup is too thick, add a touch more stock. Taste for salt.

Serve the Minestrone Soup in individual bowls topped with freshly grated Parmesan cheese, a drizzle of olive oil and fresh basil. ENJOY

UPDATE: I made this minestrone a few weeks ago and paired it with these amazing Gruyere and Ham Grilled Cheese. Butter one side of all slices of bread. If you are following Keto, use a low carb bread. Place two slices, butter facing down in a non-stick pan. Top with 3 slices each of the Gruyere. Top the cheese with 2 slices each of the deli ham then top the ham with the remaining slices of Gruyere. Top with the remaining slices of bread, butter side facing up. Brown and crisp up both sides of the bread. Serve with this or your favorite soup! You can also cut into sandwich croutons and garnish on top of my amazing Creamy Tomato Basil Soup.

Minestrone soup with a Gruyere and Ham grilled cheese


I am more than just recipes. I love fashion and style too! Most importantly, I love my Family (my Hubby and my Fur Babies). My Husband (aka my “Kitchen Bitch”) means the world to me. He’s pretty damn cool too. Not only is he one of the nicest guys you will ever meet, he also has had a lengthy career in professional hockey. Not only winning two Stanley Cups with the Pittsburgh Penguins in the early ’90’s, but most recently winning the Calder Cup with the Charlotte Checkers, amongst many other accolades. If you live in Charlotte and play hockey, or have a family member who plays, be sure to contact him!

Our life has changed dramatically in the past few years with the passing of our two goldendoodles, Vegas and Viva. We were lucky enough to have Vegas for five years (totally wish it was longer). Most recently, losing our Viva to a brain tumor in July of 2020. We welcomed our mini goldendoodle 7, almost seven years ago. We just added the amazing Hazel! Of course, I am always posting tons and tons of photos! Be sure to check out my recipe for Pet Bone Broth! This broth is super rich in nutrients and will provide your pet with a multitude of health benefits!


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