Hunter's Minestrone Soup

Serves 6. From Tyler Florence. Part of the Weekend at the Cabin Menu.

Ingredient Amount
Kosher Salt  
Chicken Broth 10 cups
Garlic gloves, 8 smashed, plus 3 cloves chopped 11 cloves
Small Rigatoni 1⁄4 pound
Extra Virgin Olive Oil  
Fresh Sage leaves 8
Fresh Rosemary, needles 1 sprig
Carrots, finely chopped 2 medium
Celery, finely chopped 2 stalks
Onion, finely chopped (I used a yellow onion) 1
Bulk Pork Sausage 3⁄4 pound
Plum Tomatoes, drained and chopped 28 oz. can
Cannellini Beans, drained 52 oz.
Fresh flat-leaf Parsley, chopped 1 bunch
Bay Leaf 1
Lemon, juice of 1⁄2  
Coarsely ground black pepper To taste

Directions:

  1. Combine the broth and the smashed garlic cloves in a big saucepan and simmer for 15 minutes to give the stock a nice garlicky taste. Remove the garlic with a slotted spoon.
  2. Cook the rigatoni in boiling water for 6 minutes, it should be slightly underdone. Drain and set aside.
  3. In a large Dutch oven, pour in 1⁄4 cup olive oil. Add the sage and rosemary and warm the oil over medium heat to infuse it with the flavor of the herbs, 3-4 minutes. Discard the herbs.
  4. Add the carrots, celery, onions and the chopped garlic to the Dutch oven and cook until the vegetables are softened but not browned. Dump onto a plate.
  5. Add a drizzle of olive oil to the same pan, then add the sausage and cook, breaking up the sausage until well browned. Return the vegetables to the pan along with the drained tomatoes, and cook for 5 minutes.
  6. Now add the beans, parsley, bay leaf, lemon juice, broth and lots of coarsely ground pepper.
  7. Bring to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes.
  8. Stir in the cooked rigatoni and warm it through. Discard the bay leaf.
  9. Serve.