Cabbage & Sausage Minestrone
This soup is also great with diced chorizo instead of the pork sausage and kale instead of the cabbage. Replace the sausage with 200g diced chorizo and swap the cabbage for chopped de-stemmed kale or silverbeet. Be sure to add the vegetables right at the last minute so they don't overcook.
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
4 good-quality pork sausages or other good-quality sausages, deskinned and torn into small chunks
2 x 400g cans crushed tomatoes, or cherry tomatoes in juice
1 x 400g can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed, or 1½ cups cooked beans
a small handful of dried pasta, e.g. ditalini
8 cups chicken stock
1 tsp finely chopped fennel seeds
4 packed cups shredded green cabbage
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup finely grated parmesan, to garnish
2 tbsp chopped parsley, to garnish
Heat oil in a large pot, add garlic and onion and cook until onion is soft (8 minutes).
Add sausages, tomatoes, beans, pasta, stock and fennel.
Simmer until pasta is almost tender (8-10 minutes).
Just before serving add cabbage and cook until wilted (a further 3-4 minutes).
Adjust seasoning to taste, ladle into warm bowls and sprinkle with parmesan and parsley to serve.
To make Kale and Chorizo Minestrone, replace the sausages with 200g diced chorizo sausage and swap the cabbage for kale or silverbeet.