Hi all of Jen’s Readers! I am Danica of Danica’s Daily and I am completely honored to be guest posting for Jen.
Jen is someone who inspires me every day not just by her amazing weight loss, but, by how she lives life. She is amazing and I am glad to share with you this delicious Healthy Winter Soup.
During the summer I am all about salads and cannot get enough of the abundant produce we have at the Farmer’s Markets. However, as soon as fall and winter roll around, I crave thick, hearty, spicy soups like this Spicy Italian Minestrone.
The beauty of soups in my opinion is that you can completely “healthify” them by swapping a few ingredients for their healthier versions and you can really add in several layers of flavor without adding in the fat.
In this recipe, I swapped out your traditional pork sausage for a lean turkey spicy Italian sausage that has a little kick. The fire roasted tomatoes add a nice smokiness that pairs well with the beans that get scooped up in the little pasta shells. The sweet sun dried tomatoes add a richness making this soup taste like you spent hours cooking it, when, it only takes about 30 minutes start to finish.
This soup freezes well so make sure you put a few individual servings in the freezer for days when cooking is the last thing you have time to do.
SPICY ITALIAN MINESTRONE SOUP
- 1 lb. lean chicken or turkey Italian sausage, casings removed
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 2 carrots, sliced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 32 oz. low-sodium chicken broth, plus additional water as needed
- Two 15 oz. cans diced fire roasted tomatoes
- Two 15 oz. cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 Tbsp. tomato paste
- 2 tsp. dried Italian seasoning
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes, chopped, optional
- 2 cups fresh spinach, roughly chopped
- 1 cup cooked whole wheat pasta shells
- pinch of crushed red pepper flakes, optional
1. Heat a large soup pan over medium heat. Add the Italian sausage and cook until browned,
around 8-10 minutes. Remove sausage and set aside.
2. Add the onion, celery, carrots and garlic to the same pan and cook until softened, about 5-7
3. Return sausage to pan along with the broth, tomatoes, kidney beans, tomato paste, Italian
seasoning, bay leaves and crushed red pepper flakes. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat
and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat, discard the bay leaves and stir in the spinach and
cooked pasta Serve as is or top with parmesan (count 1 Tbsp. for 1 points+).
Makes 12 heaping 1 cup servings, 4 points+ (If you are following Simply Filling Technique, add 2 Weekly Points)
Nutritional information per serving calculated at caloriecount.com
STEP – BY – STEP:
Heat a large soup pan, mine is 5 quarts, over medium heat. Add the sausage and cook until
Prepare all the veggies while the sausage cooks.
Remove the sausage and add the veggies to the same pan, cooking until softened.
Return the sausage to the pan and add in the beans, tomatoes and broth.
Best invention ever ~ Tomato Paste in a Tube (you can get it for $0.99 at Trader Joe’s!).
Simply squeeze as much tomato paste as you need and store the tube in the fridge. Add in the remaining spices, sun dried tomatoes if using and bay leaves. This makes a pretty thick soup so if you would like more broth, add an addition 2-3 cups of water or broth.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
TIP: To keep your pasta from soaking up all the broth in your soup, cook it and then add it in to the finished soup.
While the soup cooks, prepare your pasta according to the packaged directions.
Remove the bay leaves and stir in the spinach and pasta.
Total comfort in a bowl that will definitely warm you up from the inside out!
If there was a way for me to scoop some out for you all to try, I totally would! For more healthy recipes like this one, that are calorie and points+ friendly, feel free to head on over and browse my virtual recipe book.
Thanks again Jen and Jen’s readers for letting me share something from my Soup Kitchen!