Ladies and gentlemen, are you ready to taste a delightful and hearty soup that will warm your soul? Look no further than this Italian Sausage Bean and Spinach Soup recipe! Whether you live in a winter-wonderland or reside somewhere with a more temperate climate, nothing beats a bowl of soup after a long day.
This soup recipe combines the savory flavor of Italian sausage with the nourishing power of white beans and fresh spinach, all brought together in a delicious chicken broth base. What’s more, you can customize the spiciness level of your soup by selecting mild, medium or spicy Italian sausage according to your personal preference.
If you are interested in expanding your culinary expertise or if you want to wow your guests at the dinner table, this soup recipe is perfect for you! It is quick, easy and budget-friendly, so anyone can enjoy it without breaking the bank or their busy schedule. Are you ready to discover the magic in our soup pot? Let’s get started – I promise you won’t regret it!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Friends, comrades, epicureans of all stripes! Gather ’round and let me tell you why you simply must try this Italian Sausage Bean and Spinach Soup recipe. Trust me when I say, this isn’t just any old soup recipe. No, no, no. This is a soup that deserves a spot in your culinary repertoire because it’s hearty, healthy, and above all – bursting with flavor.
First things first – let’s talk about the ingredients. We’re talking juicy Italian sausage (smoked, spicy or mild – your choice!), buttery cannellini beans, tangy diced tomatoes, fresh spinach leaves touched with delicate verdant green color, and of course – shell pasta to add some chewy texture. With these ingredients alone, you’re already looking at a winning recipe.
Next up, let’s discuss the cooking process. You’ll preheat the pot on medium-high heat and then saute the aromatics – garlic and onions – until they’re caramelized to perfection. Then comes the juicy sausage that sizzles as it dropped into the pot with rich olive oil before browning with a touch of salt and pepper. Once the sausage is browned to your satisfaction, add some celery and carrots to increase its fiber content which makes it even healthier. Finally, pour in the chicken broth that will start to simmer as the pasta gathers momentum from their cooked shells spiraling around in the pot.
This is where things get really exciting! You’ll stir in some dried basil for herby freshness and let everything come together on medium heat for another 10 minutes until all flavors fuse smoothly into an easy medium-thick soup perfect for chilly winter nights or cold rainy days.
And now friends, let me make my strongest plea – this soup simply tastes AH-MAZING! Imagine taking every herbaceous note from a warm bowl of Tuscan soup with its cannellini beans and then layering it over deep brothy flavors from a spicy sausage stew. Add some leafy greens like kale or escarole if you like but truly our fresh spinach leaves awaken something magic in this recipe!.
Top that off with freshly grated Parmesan cheese after serving and you have yourself a luxury offering for any hungry soul sitting down to enjoy it. So why not indulge yourself in this rich Italian journey today? I promise your taste buds will thank you!
Here are the ingredients that you will need for this hearty and delicious soup:
- 1 lb. Italian sausage, casings removed
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 medium carrot, diced
- 1 celery stalk, diced
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 2 cans (15 oz. each) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 cans (14.5 oz each) diced tomatoes with juice
- 1 tsp. dried basil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 4 cups fresh spinach, washed and chopped
- 1 cup small shell pasta
- Parmesan cheese for garnish
These ingredients can easily be found in your pantry or local grocery store. The Italian sausage is the star ingredient of this dish but if you want a healthier version, you can use turkey or chicken sausage instead. The cannellini beans and spinach will add a good dose of fiber and iron to your meal while the shell pasta will make it more filling. Additionally, the garlic, basil and tomatoes will give it an irresistible aroma and flavor. Don’t forget to top it off with some freshly grated Parmesan cheese for an even more satisfying taste.
The Recipe How-To
Now that you have gathered all of the ingredients, let’s get started on making this delicious Italian Sausage Bean and Spinach soup.
Step 1: Brown the Sausage
Begin by heating a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add in the Italian sausage (removed from casings if necessary), breaking it up into small pieces with a wooden spoon or spatula. Cook for 5-7 minutes or until the sausage is browned, stirring occasionally to make sure it cooks evenly.
Step 2: Prep the Vegetables
While the sausage is cooking, prep your vegetables by finely chopping 1 large onion, 2 garlic cloves, and 1-2 carrots (depending on size). You can also add in some chopped celery if you’d like. Once the sausage is browned, use a slotted spoon to remove it from the pot and set it aside on a plate.
Step 3: Cook the Vegetables
Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the pot and reduce the heat to medium. Add in your chopped onion and garlic, cooking until they are translucent and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Next, add in your chopped carrots (and celery if using) and cook for an additional 5-7 minutes or until they are softened.
Step 4: Add Beans, Tomatoes, Broth, and Spices
Once your vegetables are tender, it’s time to add in the remaining ingredients. Start with a can of drained and rinsed cannellini beans, followed by a can of diced tomatoes (undrained), a few cups of low-sodium chicken broth, and some dried basil. Stir everything together and bring to a simmer.
Step 5: Let It Simmer
Stir in your cooked sausage along with any juices that may have accumulated on the plate. Reduce the heat to low and let everything simmer together for at least 15-20 minutes to allow all of the flavors to meld together.
Step 6: Add Spinach and Pasta
Just before serving, stir in a few handfuls of fresh spinach leaves until wilted. If you want to bulk up your soup even more, you can also cook some shell pasta separately according to package instructions and add it in at this point as well.
And there you have it! A deliciously comforting bowl of Italian Sausage Bean and Spinach soup that will warm you up on even the coldest winter nights.
Substitutions and Variations
When it comes to cooking and recipes, there’s always room for creativity and experimentation. Here are some substitutions and variations you can try with the Italian Sausage Bean and Spinach Soup Recipe:
– Vegetarian: If you want to make the soup vegetarian, simply omit the sausage and substitute vegetable broth for chicken broth. You can also add in some extra veggies like zucchini, bell peppers or mushrooms to add more flavor.
– Smoked Sausage: For a smokier flavor, use smoked sausage instead of traditional Italian sausage. Andouille or chorizo sausage are great choices.
– Pasta: You can switch up the pasta too! Instead of shell pasta, try using mini farfalle, ditalini or even gnocchi.
– Greens: While the recipe calls for fresh spinach, you can also use kale or escarole. You could even mix them together for added texture and flavor.
– Beans: If you’re not a fan of cannellini beans, feel free to use any kind of white bean such as navy beans or Great Northern beans.
– Spicy: Want to add some heat? Use hot Italian sausage instead of mild, or add red pepper flakes to taste.
No matter what substitutions or variations you choose to try, be sure to taste test as you go along. And remember that cooking is all about experimenting and making a dish your own. Who knows – you might just create a new delicious soup recipe!
Serving and Pairing
Now that you’ve made the delicious Italian Sausage Bean and Spinach Soup, it’s time to serve it up and pair it with some tasty sides. This soup is hearty enough to stand on its own as a main course, but can also function as a hearty appetizer or side dish.
To really make this soup sing, I recommend pairing it with some crusty bread for dipping and a fresh salad on the side. The warm and savory flavors of the soup perfectly balance out the crisp and refreshing greens in a salad, making for a well-rounded meal.
As for drinks, a glass of red wine or dark beer would be an excellent pairing for this hearty soup. The earthy notes in these beverages complement the rich flavors of the sausage, beans, and spinach beautifully.
If you have any leftovers, the soup makes for an easy and satisfying lunch the next day. Simply reheat it in the microwave or on the stove over medium-low heat until heated through.
In summary, this soup is versatile enough to be served in different ways, making it a great addition to any meal plan. So get creative with your pairings and enjoy this comforting and flavorful Italian-inspired dish!
Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating
Preparing for meals ahead of time can be a lifesaver during busy weekdays. Luckily, this Italian Sausage Bean and Spinach Soup Recipe is incredibly easy to make ahead of time.
To make ahead, cool the soup to room temperature and store in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Ensure the soup is heated through before serving.
When it comes to storing leftovers, transfer the cooled soup to an airtight container or resealable plastic bag and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Just like with make-ahead preparation, ensure that you heat the soup thoroughly before consuming.
Finally, reheating this soup couldn’t be any simpler! Slowly reheat the desired portion on low heat in a saucepan or microwave until warmed through. Be careful not to overheat as this could cause cementation of the shell pasta.
This recipe holds up beautifully in the refrigerator and freezer, so feel free to double up on the portions and freeze. You will have refreshing soup onion hand during those winter evenings when you need something warm and hearty.
Tips for Perfect Results
When cooking Italian Sausage Bean and Spinach Soup, precision is the key to achieving delectable results. Here are several tips to help you perfect this recipe.
1. Don’t skimp on the seasonings.
Italian sausage is already seasoned, but adding dried basil and garlic to the recipe can take it to another level. Don’t be afraid of putting a generous amount. If you prefer more spice, throw in some red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper for that extra kick.
2. Use fresh spinach for maximum flavor.
Frozen spinach is a handy alternative, but it falls short of fresh, which adds vibrancy and depth of flavor to this dish. When cooking with fresh spinach, discard stems that might impact the soup’s texture – focus only on tender leaves.
3. Cook the pasta separately.
The soup’s broth will absorb moisture from the pasta, leaving it mushy when reheated. This can also impact on how much liquid remains in your soup after boiling, since pasta release starch into its water as it cooks.
4. Take your time browning the sausage.
Browning sausage over medium-high heat for five to seven minutes should be enough to break down the fat and develop those crispy brown bits. Be careful not to overcook it though – burnt sausage leads to unappetizing soup!
5. Drain the canned beans before putting them in.
Canned beans are precooked and saturated with liquid before they were canned so they can add up an excessive amount of liquid to your soup once you pour them in without draining first, compromising your soup’s thickness and flavor balance.
6. Sweat your veggies in olive oil for maximum flavor.
Sweating veggies mean you’re cooking them slowly over low-to-medium heat until they become translucent instead of caramelized or crispy. It brings out their natural savory flavors while preserving their texture so sauté some onions and garlic in olive oil until onions are soft and garlic is fragrant before tossing in carrots or other veggies you like to use .
By following these tips, making Italian Sausage Bean and Spinach Soup will become an effortless and enjoyable experience that will reward you with earthy flavors and comforting aromas which will make you remember your grandmother’s wellness recipes fondly every time you ladle yourself a serving or two out of this Tuscan-inspired concoction’s warmth.
So there you have it, our delicious recipe for Italian Sausage Bean and Spinach Soup. I hope this recipe has given you the inspiration needed to get creative in the kitchen and experiment with different variations.
Not only is this soup incredibly tasty, but it is also a nutritious option packed with veggies and protein. Plus, it’s quick and easy to make, making it a perfect weeknight meal for your family.
Remember to take advantage of the substitution and variation options listed in this article to make the soup your own. Whether you prefer spicy sausage or kale instead of spinach, feel free to make it work for you.
And if you’re hosting a dinner party, this soup pairs well with crusty bread and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese on top. So next time you’re looking for a comfort meal on a cold winter night, whip up this soup and savor the flavors of Tuscany in your very own kitchen.
In conclusion, this Italian Sausage Bean and Spinach Soup recipe ticks all the boxes: Easy-to-prepare, versatile, flavorful, nutrient-dense, and perfect for family meals. Give it a try today!
Italian Sausage Bean and Spinach Soup Recipe
- 2 1/2 lbs Italian sausage (removed from casings)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 large carrots, peeled and coarsley chopped
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh garlic
- 2 teaspoons dried chili pepper flakes (optional or to taste)
- 3 teaspoons dried basil (or to taste)
- 2 -3 quarts chicken broth
- 2 (14 ounce) cans diced tomatoes
- 2 (15 ounce) cans cannellini beans, rinced and drained (white beans)
- 2 cups large uncooked shell pasta
- 12 ounces fresh spinach (can use frozen)
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese (or to taste)
- salt and black pepper
- Heat olive oil in a 8-10-quart pot over medium-high heat.
- Add in the sausage meat; cook until browned (about 8-10 minutes) remove the meat to a plate or bowl.
- Add in the onion, carrots, basil and dried chili flakes; saute for about 5-6 minutes adding in the garlic the last couple minutes.
- Add in chicken broth, tomatoes with juice and drained beans; bring to a boil, cover with lid and cook at medium-low for about 30 minutes.
- Add in pasta shells; reduce heat and simmer until the pasta is firm-tender (about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Skim any fat that has accumulated on top of the soup, then stir in about 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese and the fresh spinach; cook until the spinach is just wilted (about 1-2 minutes).
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Pass more Parmesan cheese at the table.
Your own notes
Recommended Recipes Just For You
Tony is an experienced chef, crafting delicious comfort food. He’s also an influential blogger, providing helpful recipes and tips on his website, taosburgersandbeer.com. As an expert in his field, he offers valuable advice to readers. His knowledge and creative recipes make it easy to cook exciting, flavorful dishes.