People and I have a love/hate relationship.
But one time there was a lot of love. I was on my way to Hawaii and my flight got delayed (that was hate). Long story short, something was wrong with the engine, they tried to fix it, two hours later they said it was beyond repair and we would have to wait at least another two hours for a different plane. Then, miraculously, ten minutes later they said, “never mind, we fixed it!” UM WHAT?! You just said it was irreparable and now, 10 minutes later, you want me to board the broken plane for six hours. I hope that’s one sticky bandage.
Regardless, it worked out obviously, but we did still leave three hours late. I was sitting at the gate trying to figure out what to do with all this extra time and no food because airport food = not gluten free, when a child nearby started wailing, great. She spilled something on her stuffed animal, and naturally, it was the end of the world. The woman across from me had a bakery box. She brought the box over to the little girl and let her pick out a treat. She stopped crying and I started crying. I’ve never seen someone do something that nice in an airport. Airports are for grumpy businessmen and crying children. The end. So we struck up conversation and through a series of random small connections that make this world feel even smaller, we became instant best friends. At least I think. It was her birthday, and she too was going to miss a dinner date. So she asked me to watch her things (disclaimer: you’re not supposed to do that, leave your bags or watch someone’s bag, but uh, we’re best friends now) and when she came back she had a bowl of soup for the two of us to share. And I thought she was the nicest ever before, are you freaking kidding me?
You guys this soup … was not gluten free. But, it was entirely delicious! And luckily I only had a couple bites before deciding I shouldn’t be eating it and ended up OK. But I immediately knew I had to recreate it. It was a minestrone, but when I think minestrone, I think boring vegetable soup. This was not boring. This had robust pesto-like flavors, chunks of flavorful sausage and fun veggies like mushrooms and spinach, not just your traditional carrots and celery.
So, to share this woman’s kind spirit and positive attitude with the rest of the world, I give you Spinach Sausage Minestrone Soup littered with colorful veggies, sliced spinach chicken sausage, topped with tons of gooey Parmesan and flavored with pesto and white wine. Spread the love, spread the kindness, share this soup.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 chicken spinach sausage links (I use Simply Balanced Spinach & Garlic Chicken Sausage), sliced
- 1 large carrot, chopped
- 1 celery stalk, chopped
- ¼ onion, chopped
- ¼ cup chopped mushrooms
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes
- 1½ cups chicken broth
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ cup basil pesto (I use Classico)
- ½ cup white wine
- 1 cup spinach
- Grated Parmesan
- In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook the sausage until browned.
- Add the carrot, celery, onion and mushrooms and cook until tender, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant.
- Transfer to a large pot, dutch oven or slow cooker. For stove: Add the tomatoes, chicken broth and spices. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and let simmer for about 20–30 minutes. For slow cooker: Add the tomatoes, chicken broth and spices and cook on high for four hours or low for eight.
- Before serving, add the pesto, wine and spinach, stir until spinach is wilted. Distribute into bowls and top with a couple tablespoons or so of grate Parmesan cheese.