Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Tuscan Sausage Soup (Freezable)

I've had this recipe pinned for a long time, and I finally got around to making it. I've been trying to streamline our menu at home, and one way to make things easy for lunches is to make a big pot of soup that Husband and I can eat off of for the week. I have been giving us soup, cut up veggies with hummus and fruit. It's been awesome! This week I made Tuscan Sausage Soup. It's full of sweet Italian sausage, carrots, onions, garlic, white beans, tomatoes, basil, whole wheat pasta and spinach. It also took less than 30 minutes to prep and cook, which is always a bonus!

The person I pinned this from says that it freezes beautifully, which is great because it makes a ton! I cut the recipe in half, and still got ten 1 cup servings. Husband and I both really enjoyed this soup. It's hearty, and reminded us of Minestrone. Next time I make this, I think I'll add extra beans. Maybe kidney beans for variety. I'm also going to bulk up the veggies. Celery, bell peppers, or zucchini would be nice in here. And instead of spinach, I'm going to use kale. I like that kale doesn't completely wilt in soups, it still has a bite to it. Other than that, this soup is definitely a keeper and will be a repeat in our house. If you like spicy foods, feel free to use hot or mild Italian sausage in place of the sweet. For a complete meal, pair with a salad, some freshly baked bread and you're in business!

Tuscan Sausage Soup

2 lbs. sweet Italian sausage
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 sweet onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
3 quarts chicken broth
2 14.5-ounce cans diced tomatoes, with juice
2 15-ounce cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon dried basil
1-lb (16-oz) whole wheat shell pasta, uncooked
8 ounces spinach leaves
salt and pepper to taste
Grated Parmesan cheese for topping (if desired)

Remove sausage from casings and brown over med-high heat in the bottom of your largest stockpot. Crumble the sausage as you brown it.

Add the carrots, onion and garlic and saute until tender and starting to turn a bit golden, about 7 minutes.

Add the chicken broth, tomatoes, beans, pasta and basil. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to a simmer. Cover the pot and continue cooking until pasta becomes a bit tender, about 7 minutes.

Stir in the spinach and cook until just wilted. Taste and season with salt and pepper, according to your preference.

Serve hot garnished with grated Parmesan, if desired.

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