My mom discovered this Italian Soup recipe sometime around 1990 (perhaps she remembers the source, and can share it in a comment below...?) It's one of the first things I ever attempted to make on my own, and it really is a tasty, hearty dish. Much more stew-like than soup-like, I think.
I recently made this using the old recipe card I had written 15 years ago, and decided that I would make some healthy adjustments in my next attempt.
Here's the original recipe:
Brown a roll of Jimmy Dean pork sausage in a dutch oven; add one chopped onion and one chopped green pepper. Once the vegetables have started to cook, add a 28oz can of crushed tomatoes, 2 8oz cans of tomato sauce, 2 8oz cans of water, 3 cubes of chicken bouillon, and 3/4 tsp garlic powder and simmer (covered) on low for 15 minutes. Add 3/4 cup of ditallini pasta, stir, cover and cook for 10-12 minutes. (The soup will thicken if it is left to sit for a bit). Top with shredded mozzarella and serve. Yum!
So, I basically tried to un-Sandra-Lee-ify this recipe. For the modified recipe, I browned turkey sausage (instead of the Jimmy Dean pork sausage) in some olive oil, I omitted the bouillon cubes and replaced the water with chicken stock, I used real garlic instead of garlic powder, and I used small whole wheat pasta shells instead of the standard ditallini. The result was wonderful, and might even be considered healthy!