Summer Italian Sausage Soup

Summer Italian Sausage Soup

 

Lately, Chicago weather has been throwing us a curve ball.  Last week was consistently ninety degrees, while this week has seen plenty of cool temperatures.  With this feeling of Fall in the air, I thought it a perfect time to post this delicious Italian sausage soup recipe.  I make multiple versions of this soup, usually depending on available in season vegetables.  In the summer, I use green beans, zucchini, and fresh spinach.  In the winter, I use cabbage, kale, and leeks.  If you have another favorite vegetable you would want to add to the pot, feel free.  This soup is very versatile.  Don’t be afraid to tinker with it to match your taste or what you have on hand.

If you want to speed up the prep work when making this soup, use a pre chopped container of mirepoix (onion, celery, and carrots), and store-bought stock.  If you are like me, your pantry is constantly overflowing with cans of tomatoes, cans of beans, boxes of stock, and half consumed bags of pasta noodles.  With that said, make sure to check your pantry for ingredients before you head off to the store with your shopping list.

This soup feeds a crowd, so I suggest making it when you have a hungry group coming over for dinner.  If your family is like mine, make it any night of the week (always seems to be a hungry clan waiting around the stove for something warm and hearty).  Serve it along side sandwiches, or with a nice salad and a loaf of bread.

Smiles will grace the faces of all who eat summer Italian sausage soup.  I promise you that.

Summer Italian Sausage Soup 2

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb Italian chicken sausage (I used a sun dried tomato variety)
  • 1 cup white onion, chopped
  • 1 cup carrots, chopped
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup green beans, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 cup zucchini, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 28 oz can diced tomatoes in juice
  • 15 oz can garbanzo beans, rinsed
  • 15 oz can cannellini beans, rinsed
  • 8 cups low sodium chicken stock (homemade or store-bought)
  • 1 1/2 cups short cut pasta (I used orecchiette)
  • 6 oz bag fresh spinach
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • pinch cracked red pepper flakes, optional (if you like it spicy like we do, add it!)
  • Parmesan cheese, lemon juice, fresh basil, and fresh parsley (fixings)

Directions:

Saute Italian sausage over medium heat in a large pot until browned (no need to add oil).  Using a wooden spoon, break up sausage into bite sized pieces as it cooks.  As long as you are using a lean sausage, you should not have excess oil in your pot.  If you do, discard oil and drain sausage on a plate lined with paper towel then return sausage to the pot.

To the cooked sausage, add onion, carrots, celery, and garlic.  Cook for 5 minutes.  Add green beans and zucchini.  Cook an additional 5 minutes, then add tomatoes, beans, broth, oregano, salt, pepper, and cracked red pepper flakes (optional).  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and let simmer for 30 minutes.

Add pasta, cook 15 minutes or until al dente.  Alternatively, cook pasta separately and add 1/4 cup to individual bowls before ladling in soup.  I do this when I plan to have a lot of soup leftover so the noodles are kept separately.  That way the noodles don’t rest in the soup and absorb the broth.

Add spinach and let cook an additional 5 minutes.  Serve with Parmesan cheese, a squeeze of lemon, fresh basil, and fresh parsley.

Servings: 10 (Serving Size: 2 cups)

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