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The calendar says mid-April, which means grilling season to me, but the weather outdoors says otherwise. Nothing can be done about the unusually cold temperatures this spring, so I’m trying to grin and bear it with a new soup recipe. Turns out, that was a good move because the recipe turned out to be a winner, winning the coveted Hiram seal of approval.

The recipe was featured by author Deborah Vogts at her website, Country At Heart Recipes. My consumption of Italian food, which I love, has been sorely curtailed by this dairy allergy thing. But the Parmesan cheese is added to this soup after it’s ladled into bowls. So it works for both the man of steel, who things Parmesan cheese should be added to everything he eats, and for me, too.

Minestrone Soup

1 pound ground sausage
1 cup onion, minced
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups frozen mixed vegetables
14 oz. diced tomatoes
14 oz. Italian style stewed tomatoes, crushed
15 oz red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
6 cups chicken broth
1 cup elbow macaroni
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Brown sausage in large dutch oven. Add onion and garlic and cook until tender. Add mixed vegetables, tomatoes, beans, oregano, basil, salt, and pepper. Cook for 5-7 minutes. Add chicken broth and bring to a boil. Simmer for 15 minutes. Add macaroni and cook for another 10-12 minutes until pasta is tender. Ladle into bowls and top with Parmesan cheese. Serves 6-8.