I have to thank my good friend, Shari, for turning me on to the ambrosia that is minestrone. Infinitely adaptable, heartwarming, and (of course) better the next day - and the next, and the next....
1 lb bullet spicy italian sausage ($1.99 on sale)
2 tbsp olive oil ($0.25)
1 15 oz can tomato sauce ($0.50) + 2 cans water to rinse out sauce
1 15.5 oz can diced tomatoes, undrained ($0.50)
1 can green beans, drained ($0.50)
1 can great northern beans, drained and rinsed ($0.65)
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed (0.65)
1 can mixed vegetables, drained ($0.50)
3 tbsp Italian seasoning ($0.25)
1 cup small pasta - we used the tiny ditalini and alphabets commonly found in the Mexican section ($0.50)
1 cup heavy cream (optional) ($0.50)
salt & pepper to taste (negligible)
parmesan to top
In a deep pot, fry sausage in olive oil until fully cooked. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, water, beans, veggies, and Italian seasoning. Simmer until bubbling. Add pasta, cook to al dente. Add in heavy cream and seasonings. Taste and adjust as necessary. Enjoy steaming in a bowl, topped with parmesan.
My son just adored this - what an easy and tasty way for him to get a jump on his daily veggies!
I wish I could tell you how many servings this made. Lets say, for the sake of argument, it's about 12 hearty 2-cup servings. At $0.57 each, it's a great frugal option for a cold winter day. And feel free to experiment and use what veggies you have on hand - this soup is so adaptable, making it the perfect frugal addition to your recipe library!