Would you believe that for my own birthday I decided to cook? Since I was lucky enough to share a birthday night with the Oscars (or should I say, they were lucky to host it on my birthday), there's no way I was going to miss it by sitting at a fancy restaurant. Matt took me to my restaurant of choice the night before and for my birthday dinner I insisted on cooking a hearty minestrone italian sausage soup...mostly to make up for the indulgent dessert I was going to eat after. :)
Soups are one of my favorite things to make because it requires the least amount of attention. It's so easy - get your prep done, toss it all in one pot and leave it alone til it's ready to serve. Here's what you'll need for the minestrone italian sausage soup:
- 2 chopped stalks of celery
- 2 chopped medium zuchinni
- 2 chopped carrot sticks
- 1 chopped tomato
- 1 chopped leek stem
- 1 chopped medium yellow onion
- 3 chopped cloves of garlic
- 1/2 bag of trimmed green beans chopped
- 1 can of kidney beans (drained)
- 1 can of garbanzo beans (drained)
- 2 cans of diced tomatoes with oregano, basil and garlic
- 6 cups of beef broth
- 1 lbs of italian sausage (I used half mild and half spicy)
- 2 tbsp of EVOO
- 1 tbsp of dried oregano
- 1 tbsp of dried basil
- 2 tbsp of black pepper
- 2 tbsp of salt
- In a large heated pot add EVOO and cook sausage until brown.
- Add all chopped vegetables and mix evenly with sausage.
- Add salt, pepper, dried oregano and dried basil. Mix evenly and cook for 10 minutes.
- Add canned tomatoes and beef broth. Bring to a boil. Cover, lower heat and bring to a boil for 40 minutes.
- Add kidney and garbanzo beans. Return to a boil and cook for 5 minutes until heated.
- Serve with a heaping full of fresh parmesan cheese (optional).
My birthday dinner was absolutely delicious and of course it wouldn't be a birthday without a yummy dessert. Since I'm not the biggest fan of cake I opted for a piece of Chocolate Cream Pie from Hoosier Mama Pie Company. If you're ever in the city you MUST stop by Hoosier Mama's. Everything I've had from there is delicious and makes Keri Russell's pies from The Waitress look like they're store bought.