Minestrone with sausages and beans
( SERVES 4 )
Photo by Tamara West
A variation on the classic minestrone, using good quality sausages packed with flavour. When using fennel bulbs, discard the outer leaves as they are tough. Cut bulbs in half and then slice.
- Heat olive oil in a heavy-based saucepan. Add the crumbled sausage and cook over a high heat until browned. Transfer sausage to a plate.
- Reduce heat to low and add fennel, leek, garlic and crushed fennel seeds. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Add chicken stock and tomatoes along with browned sausage and simmer gently for about 20 minutes or until leeks are very soft.
- Add beans and macaroni and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cook for a further 2 minutes until hot.
- Ladle soup into warmed bowls and sprinkle with reserved chopped fennel fronds.
- Serve with parmesan cheese and crusty bread, toasted if desired. A little aioli (garlic mayonnaise) for spreading is great here too.