When the weather outside is frightful, it is sure nice to have all the ingredients on hand for Italian Sausage White Bean & Pasta Soup! There's so much flavor and heartiness in this soup that you'll warm up real quick, especially if you like spicy Italian sausage!
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What kind of Italian sausage should I use?
We like hot Italian sausage as opposed to mild, but as I always say, you should use what you like! I was fortunate find some locally made Italian sausage made with Calabrian chiles and I loved the flavor! Calabrian chiles are spicy, but sweet. Almost like paprika with a kick.
I'm sure it would prove difficult to find Calabrian Italian sausages, but you could add Calabrian chiles to your soup pot. They are often sold as a paste or sauce, but also are jarred whole or dried as flakes. (The company I've linked to is a 50-year-old company in Italy ... the real deal!)
You can see the gorgeous color that the Calabrian chiles give to the sausage!
Brown the sausage, then add the carrots, onion, and garlic and let them cook a bit.
Some chicken or beef broth is next, along with tomatoes, beans, and basil. Let it simmer for a bit, then raise the heat and add the pasta. Cook for about 10 minutes, then add the spinach. I usually turn the heat off at this point because the spinach wilts so quickly!
Let's talk beans for a bit ...
I've covered dried vs. canned beans quite a lot, so I won't pontificate on it much here. I'll just point you to those posts (See "Other recipes you might like" below)! I absolutely love the texture of dried, soaked beans and will probably opt for that choice as often as possible for all the reasons I've mentioned before in other posts. I also like that I can pre-cook them to exactly the point of doneness that I want so that when I add them to the soup, they don't overcook.
You can use canned beans for sure! And if you do, (and if I ever do!), I can't recommend Eden Organics enough. They soak their beans before canning them and they use the safest cans they could find available. That link will take you to their FAQ page where you can read all about their practices.
How to serve
Just look at that hearty bowl of soup! It's exactly what you want on a cold day when you want some real stick-to-your-ribs goodness! Serve it with plenty of freshly grated parmesan cheese and some crusty bread to sop up all the juices. Mmm, yum!
Other recipes you might like:
Italian Sausage, White Bean, & Pasta Soup
- 1 pound Italian sausage We like it spicy!
- 1 cup carrots chopped (about 2 medium carrots)
- 1 cup onion chopped (about ½ of a large onion)
- 3 cloves garlic chopped
- 1½ cups chicken or beef broth
- 2 cups canned chopped tomatoes (1 14.5-ounce can)
- 2 cups white beans (1 can or 1 cup dried, soaked, and partially cooked)
- 2 teaspoons dried basil
- 1 cup pasta shells, fusilli
- 6 ounces fresh spinach chopped
- fresh parmesan cheese to grate on top
- Heat a Dutch oven to medium heat. If you are using sausages in casings, squeeze the sausage from the casings into the pot. Stir often, breaking the meat apart with a spoon, until browned and crumbly, 8-10 minutes. If there's a lot of fat left, spoon some out.
- Add carrots, onion, and garlic; stir often until the onion is translucent, 5-7 minutes. Add the broth, tomatoes, beans, and basil. Simmer until the carrots and onions are tender, 15-20 minutes.
- Bring soup to a boil again, then add the pasta. Cook until the pasta is just tender to bite, about 10 minutes, or according to package instructions.
- Stir in the spinach and cook till it is wilted, about 30 seconds. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve in soup bowls with plenty of fresh Parmesan cheese to spoon on top.