Memories and Minestrone

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Once upon a time, in a faraway land called Pennsylvania, there was a young Texan girl and her family new to a majestic kingdom called West Chester. Okay, I promise I won’t tell this entire post the way of a bedtime story, but I do have some fond memories of a time before I landed in the DC area.

This week I was a tad under the weather and was reminded by my mother of this delicious soup made by a loving neighbor who I called Ms. Amy. As a kid, I used to spend every afternoon after school with her and her family. What initially started out as a safe place for me to stay in a new town while I waited for my parents to return home from work, ultimately turned into a home away from home. Our families grew close and I helped with her two younger children and we all looked out for one another.

Some of my fondest memories of my time spent with Ms. Amy and her family revolve around the kitchen. One fond memory- drinking hot chocolate and chatting with Ms. Amy after my walk from the bus stop on frigid days before her son and daughter woke up from their afternoon nap. Another slew of memories are from the great things we would cook together. She taught me how to make challah bread, fun chocolate pretzel treats, and this Minestrone Soup. We made this hearty soup one winter evening and I loved it and in making it this week all the memories of my time in PA came back to me. She was even sweet enough when my mother was ill to make and deliver this very soup to our home along with some freshly made bread. That kindness is something my family and I have never forgotten.

Having caring neighbors like Ms. Amy and her family really shaped me as I have grown up. One thing I love about the holiday season is the kindness shown by people everywhere you go, I was lucky enough to grow up with that year round. This minestrone reminded me of those good times and feelings this week.

Minestrone Soup

What You Need:

  • 1 lb. Sweet Italian Sausage
  • 1 Tbs. Olive Oil
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup sliced carrots
  • 3 -4 fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 large zucchini sliced (or 2 small zucchini)
  • 1 28 oz. can Italian pear tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 (10.75 oz) cans beef broth
  • 2 cups of finely shredded cabbage (or 2-3 cups of coleslaw mix)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 1 can Great Nothern beans, undrained.

Instructions:
Click here to Cook With Me!

  • Brown the sausage in one tablespoon of olive oil.
  • Add onion, garlic, carrots, and basil, cook for 5 minutes.
  • Add zucchini, tomatoes, beef broth, cabbage, salt, and pepper.
  • Bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat and simmer, covered for one hour.
  • Add undrained can of Great Northern beans and cook covered for another 20 minutes.
  • Serve and enjoy.

Cook With Me:

  • Brown the sausage in one tablespoon of olive oil.
  • Add onion, garlic, carrots, and basil, cook for 5 minutes.
  • Add zucchini, tomatoes, beef broth, cabbage, salt, and pepper.
  • Bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat and simmer, covered for one hour.
  • Add undrained can of Great Northern beans and cook covered for another 20 minutes.
  • Serve and enjoy.

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