Florida technically has two types of weather… hot and hotter. So when the temperature went down into the upper 30’s/low 40’s, it was basically a state of chaos. Where’s the one sweater I own and does my house even have a heater function? I also noticed that all I wanted to eat was soup all day. I eat soup during the warm months, but it’s ten times better when it’s cold outside. This hot Italian sausage and white bean soup is everything I wanted and more for the cold snap.
It’s no secret I love spice in my food. You could use chicken in this soup and it would still be delicious, but the hot Italian sausage lends so much flavor to this soup. I brown the Italian sausage first, so that the rest of the ingredients can cook in it’s juices and develop even more flavor.
The base of the soup is just like my chicken noodle soup: onion, carrots, celery, and garlic. I mean it’s a classic start to a lot of soups, but as I mentioned above it really makes a difference in flavor cooking in the juices of the sausage.
I still want more flavor! I usually use the chicken bouillon cubes, but found a liquid version that I have liked cooking with more. When you start adding broth to soups it starts to dilute the flavors, so the bouillon helps keep the broth flavorful and gives it umami. Umami is considered the 5th taste (salty, sweet, savory, bitter) and is a savory taste you experience in broths and meats. Just make sure you’re using low sodium chicken broth because it will be too salty when you add the bouillon.
After you have added the broth, time to add the rest of the ingredients so they can marry together. I added in the pasta and I usually use elbows, but tried these cool looking pastas and it was meh. Stick to elbows or other small pastas. Make sure to stir it a bit the first minute so the pasta doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot. I cook my pasta in the broth because I like how it sucks up the flavor from the broth, rather than cooking it separately then adding it in. Next I added back in the hot Italian sausage, spinach, and cannellini beans (white kidney beans).
I also sometimes top it with freshly grated parmesan cheese, but thats completely optional. The best part, the leftovers taste even better the next day. I guess I would attribute it to the time it sits allowing the flavors to marry even more.
There you have it, a comforting bowl of soup whether it’s 30 or 80 degrees outside.
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Comforting bowl of soup with hot Italian sausage, spinach, cannellini beans, and a ton of umami.
- 2 links Hot Italian Sausage, case removed (1 lb)
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 cup white onion, chopped
- 1 1/2 cups carrots, sliced
- 1 1/2 cups celery, sliced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 cubes chicken bouillon or 2 tbsp liquid form
- 3 qt‘s low sodium chicken broth
- 1/2 bag elbow pasta (1/2 lb)
- 1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp dried sage
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 2 cups fresh baby spinach leaves
- 1 can white cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- Optional garnish: fresh grated parmesan cheese
- In a soup pot, heat 3 tbsp olive oil over medium high heat. Add the uncased hot Italian sausage and brown. Break it up as you cook it, once browned remove and set aside, leaving the juices in the pot.
- Add the onions, carrots, and celery and cook for about 6 minutes until the vegetables begin to soften, but not brown. Add the 1 tbsp butter, the garlic, and all the seasonings (pepper, thyme, sage, oregano) and cook for 1 minute until the garlic is fragrant.
- Add the 3 qt’s of chicken broth and the chicken bouillon, cook for 5 minutes so the broth heats up. Add the pasta and stir for 1 minute so the pasta doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot. Add the hot Italian sausage back in and lower the heat to low for 15 minutes. Once done, add the spinach and beans and stir to combine. Allow the spinach leaves to wilt in and beans to heat up about 5 more minutes. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed.
- Serve in a bowl and garnish with fresh grated parmesan (optional)
Keywords: italian sausage, soup, white bean soup, cannellini beans, spinach