Minestrone

Ingredients
  • 1 pound Italian sausage
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 can green beans
  • 6-8 cups water
  • ½ head cabbage, chopped
  • 2 15-ounce cans tomatoes
  • ½ 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach (optional)
  • 1 small zucchini, diced
  • 1 teaspoon each beef and chicken bouillon
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • ½ teaspoon oregano
  • ½ teaspoon basil
  • ½ teaspoon rosemary
  • ½ teaspoon thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1½ cups cooked beans or 2 15-ounce cans beans, drained (I like some combination of kidney, small red, great northern, or garbanzo)
  • 1 cup pasta shells (optional)

Instructions
  1. In 6 quart or larger pot, cook sausage. Add onion, garlic, carrots, and celery. Cook about 20 min., stirring occasionally.
  2. Add remaining ingredients. Heat to boiling.
  3. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 40 or more minutes or until all vegetables are very tender.
  4. Add pasta if desired. Cook 10-15 minutes longer.


(Adapted from my mom's recipe.)