This has been coined Christmas soup by my family because it is red and green and white, making it Christmas in a bowl.
(photo of the vegetables being sauteed)
1 lb Italian sausage
1 red pepper, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
4 cups beef broth
1 cup red wine for soup
3 cups red wine for drinking while cooking
16 oz can chopped tomatoes
16 oz can white beans
1 med zucchini, sliced
1 med potato, peeled and chopped
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp basil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 cups pasta shells (I use gluten free an no one is any wiser)
If you are using sausage links, you will want to remove them from the casings and cut them into chunks. I just used ground sausage instead and skip this step.
Saute the sausage over medium heat until it is browned on all sides, 5 minutes or so.
Add the chopped red pepper, onion, and celery and saute for an additional 5 minutes or so.
Add all of the remaining ingredients, except for the pasta. Bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 25 - 30 minutes.
During this time you will want to boil up your pasta shells. Drain and rinse them, before adding them to the soup at the end. You can add them uncooked to the soup, but they will absorb so much water and I have always found that when you do it that way there is a really pasty taste in the food.
I have tripled this recipe and have it all set in a huge stockpot just waiting to turn it on tomorrow morning and serve it with our Christmas dinner.