Minestrone ~ Lifeofjoy.meI was never really very fond of soup. I don’t recall having many soups growing up. We had Granny’s Chicken Soup and sometimes we had chili but other than Lipton’s Noodle Soup when I wasn’t feeling good, I don’t remember having soup.

Thus in our early years of marriage, I made very little soup. But in the past seven or eight years or so, I’ve found some soups that I love (and my family likes too). This minestrone is one such soup.

Start by dicing two medium ribs of celery

Minestrone ~ Lifeofjoy.me

and one medium onion

Minestrone ~ Lifeofjoy.meI add a small drizzle of olive oil to my dutch oven and then cook the celery and onions over medium heat, until they are softened as much as you like.

Minestrone ~ Lifeofjoy.meRemove the casing from the chicken sausage links, if you didn’t buy it in bulk and add that to the softened onions and celery.

Minestrone ~ Lifeofjoy.meMinestrone ~ Lifeofjoy.meMinestrone ~ Lifeofjoy.meMinestrone ~ Lifeofjoy.meBreak up the sausage as it browns.

Slice carrot. I use my mandolin on the thinnest setting so that it gets thoroughly cooked, the way my family likes it. :)

Minestrone ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Add all remaining ingredients except ditalini and parmesan.

Minestrone ~ Lifeofjoy.meStir and bring to a boil. Reduce heat simmer over medium-low heat for 20 minutes, covered.

Add the ditalini and stir. Cover and cook about 10 minutes or so, until the pasta is done.

Minestrone ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Sprinkle 1/2 tablespoon over each two cup serving.

Minestrone ~ Lifeofjoy.me

It only has 340 calories per two cup serving but that is based on using a whole can of corn and a half cup of green beans. My version would have a little less than that except that I saute my onions and celery in a little olive oil, so that adds extra calories. If you want to keep it low, use water or a non-stick skillet or spray with a little oil.

The leftovers are also wonderful. I usually have to add a bit of water when I reheat it because the pasta and barley tend to soak up most of the moisture.

Minestrone ~ Lifeofjoy.me



  • 1 pound sweet Italian chicken sausage (casings removed)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 medium ribs celery, diced
  • 1 medium carrot, sliced
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 can (approximately 16 ounces) reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
  • 1 can (14-19 ounces) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 1 1/2 - 2 cups fresh or frozen green beans, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 3 tablespoons dried pearl barley
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup ditalini pasta
  • 4 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan cheese


  1. Drizzle a little olive oil in dutch oven. Add diced onion and celery and saute over medium high heat. When they are softened, add sausage and brown.
  2. When sausage is nearly browned, add sliced carrot and garlic. Cook until soft, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add the water, broth, tomato paste, kidney beans, corn, green beans, barley, salt and pepper. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer about 20 minutes.
  5. Add Ditalini and stir.
  6. Cook until the pasta is done, about 10 minutes or so.
  7. Sprinkle each serving with 1/2 tablespoon Parmesan cheese.


Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

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