Italian sausage soup comes together quickly and satisfies so many cravings. It's packed with nutrients but also feels just a touch indulgent.
For a slightly lighter version, you could substitute Italian-style turkey or chicken sausage. Or make it vegan with a good vegan sausage.
Cooking the pasta separately prevents it from slurping up all the broth, especially if you have leftovers. That's a great protip for almost all soups with pasta.
Italian sausage soup
Well hello there from an 80-degree October day in New Jersey. I'm not complaining, but I'm also not about to be demure with the soup. It's decorative gourd season, mofos. (Never gets old, am I right?) And that means it's soup season too. Second time in a week (oh hi, Monday soup), and I'm not sorry. Today we're all about Italian sausage soup with white beans, spinach and pasta shells.
This easy soup sports a tomato-ish broth situation. It's hearty and veggie-packed. It feeds a small crowd or a family for a couple of weeknight dinners. It's quick to make. And we're eating it for dinner this very evening, in a house that's getting stuffy because I'm too lazy to open the windows. I mean, I'd open them, but then I might have to close them in the morning if it's freezing, and that's just hard.
I blame decorative gourds.
Sausage soup protip
Here's a protip for anytime you make soup with pasta in it. Consider cooking the pasta separately and tossing it with a little olive oil. Then, when you're ready to serve, stir some pasta into the soup in each individual serving bowl. That way the pasta won't slurp up all the broth before you have a chance to. This is an especially good idea when you might have leftovers. You know I'm not into shoulds. But this is a good call, just sayin.
- 1 ½ pounds (680 grams) sweet Italian sausage meat
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced small
- 2 large carrots, diced small
- 2 large celery stalks, diced small
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 8 cups (1900 ml) lower-sodium chicken broth
- 1 26.5-ounce (750-gram) box (or similar size can) chopped tomatoes
- 1 pound (454 grams) small or medium pasta shells
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) olive oil
- 2 15.5-ounce (440=gram) cans white beans, drained and rinsed
- 8 ounces (227 grams) baby spinach
- ¼ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Grated parmesan or pecorino, for serving
- Remove sausage from casings (if any) and crumble it into a very large pot. (I use a 9-quart Dutch oven.)
- Cook, stirring occasionally, until sausage is browned and cooked through.
- Remove sausage to a plate and spoon out and discard all but about one tablespoon of fat from the pot.
- Lower heat to medium. Add onion, carrots and celery and stir to coat with fat. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until carrots are fairly tender and veggies are lightly browned in spots.
- Add garlic and cook, stirring, one minute more.
- Stir in stock and tomatoes, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot.
- Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to simmer for ten minutes.
- Meanwhile, cook pasta shells to al dente in a separate pot of well salted water. Drain and toss with the olive oil.
- Back in the big soup pot, add beans, reserved sausage, and spinach.
- Simmer until spinach is wilted.
- Off the heat, stir in parsley and black pepper.
- Ladle soup into bowls, stirring some pasta shells into each. Serve with cheese to pass at the table.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 392Total Fat: 11.5gCarbohydrates: 61.5gFiber: 8.4gProtein: 13.6g