Italian Bean and Sausage Soup

3/4 lb. Italian sausage, casing removed, finely crumbled
2 cup beef broth
One 16-oz. can tomatoes, cut into pieces
1 green bell pepper, cut into 1 inch strips
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
One 16-oz. can pork and beans
1 tbsp. chopped parsley

Place sausage in 3-quart microwaveable casserole; cover with waxed paper. Microwave at High 3 minutes, stirring halfway through cooking. Drain drippings; set sausage aside. Using same casserole, combine beef broth, tomatoes, green pepper, onion, garlic and Italian seasoning. Cover; microwave at High 15 to 17 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. Add reserved sausage and beans. Microwave at High 4 to 5 minutes, or until vegetables are tender; add parsley. Serve with grated parmesan cheese, if desired.

Makes 8 one cup servings.

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Cajun Country -- New Iberia, Louisiana