This is one of my favorite soups, that I recently prepared for our residents during a Chef’s Premier Dinner at Atlantic Shores. It brings back childhood memories of my parents making this soup, served with day-old bread to soak up all of the broth -- absorbing the flavors down to the last drop. Mix in fresh dark leafy greens like spinach, kale, arugula or even thinly slice cabbage. Customize the recipe even more by changing the pasta to your favorite kind.

atlantic minestrone

Ingredients:

8 oz elbow pasta, cooked
1 lb sausage, mild, sliced
6 ea cooked bacon, diced
8 oz white onion, medium dice
4 oz celery, medium diced
8 oz carrots, peeled, medium diced
2 teaspoons garlic, fresh, minced
1 teaspoon thyme, fresh, removed for stem
1 teaspoon sage, fresh, chiffonade
1 teaspoon rosemary, fresh, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt, kosher
8oz diced tomatoes
16 oz tomato sauce
32 oz beef broth
2 cups water
3 bay leaves
3 medium Yukon potatoes, peeled, medium diced
8oz zucchini, medium diced
10 oz kidney beans, drained and rinsed
8oz garbanzo beans
10 oz great northern beans


Preparation:

1. Cook pasta according to box directions, drain, and rinse, set aside.
2. In a large stockpot over medium heat add the Italian sausage. Cook until browned, and
drain any excess fat.
3. Add the onion, carrots and celery and continue to cook until the onions are translucent.
4. Add garlic, fresh herbs and salt and continue to cook for another minute.
5. Add beef broth, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, water, bay leaves, and bring to a simmer
over medium-high heat.
6. Add the diced potatoes and continue to cook for 5-7 minutes. Cook until the potatoes just
barely start to soften.
7. Add the diced zucchini and continue to cook for another 5 minutes.
8. Add in the beans and simmer until potatoes and zucchini are cooked through but still firm.
9. Stir in the cooked pasta. Remove from heat.
10. Serve warm with grated Parmesan cheese and your favorite bread.

Kyle Pafford is the executive chef at Atlantic Shores Retirement Community.