Sausage, Spinach, and White Bean Soup

I’m hoping that any readers who were impacted by Hurricane Sandy are safe this morning.  We made it through the storm without losing power, and without major damage to our home.  The only real damage we have over here is the tree branch that fell onto the roof of the playscape in the back yard.  It’s nothing a new piece of tarp and a few 2×4’s won’t fix, but the kids are pretty worked up about rebuilding.  We do have family on the Long Island shore dealing with severe flooding and friends and family in other locations dealing with flooding (both their streets and their homes) and power loss, and we are grateful that they are all safe despite that.  We also have friends in and around New York City and if you haven’t seen the news reports, it isn’t so pretty over there right now.

When we heard the storm was coming, we decided to get storm supplies early before the media started exciting everyone and there wasn’t a battery left to be had.  This meant that the soup I made during the day for dinner that night was packed up and put into the refrigerator while we ran our errands.  Then, we got distracted by a sandwich place (we’re easily distracted that way) and that meant the soup was lunch on another day.  I will say, it was nice to have as it made for a comforting lunch while we waited for the storm to arrive.  It’s really easy to put together and makes a filling meal.  With any soup that calls for pasta, I recommend adding the pasta to the whole batch only if you’re going to eat it all and none of it will be stored for another meal later.  The pasta tends to absorb a lot of liquid while the soup is stored, which can make for mushy pasta and thicker soup.  I typically will boil the pasta separately and add what I need to each serving.  It’s really not much more work and it makes for a better end result.

Sausage, Spinach, and White Bean Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. ground sweet Italian sausage (or sausage in casings, with casings removed)
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 sweet onion, minced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 C. chicken broth
  • 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes, with juice
  • 15 oz. can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 Tbsp. dried basil
  • 8 oz. shell shaped pasta
  • 4 oz. frozen spinach
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • Grated Parmesan cheese for topping (if desired)

Directions:

Heat a large pot over medium-high heat and add the sausage (remember to remove the casings if using sausage links).

Brown the sausage, crumbling it as it cooks (I use a potato masher for this with great results, a wooden spoon is another good choice).

Add the carrots, onion, and garlic to the sausage and cook, stirring occasionally until tender, about 7 minutes.

Add the chicken broth, tomatoes (with juices), beans, spinach and basil to the pot.

Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until ready to serve.

Add salt and pepper to taste if necessary.

In a separate pot, cook the shell pasta according to directions on the box and drain.

To serve, ladle the soup into bowls and add cooked pasta to each bowl.  Top with grated Parmesan if desired.

Makes 6 servings.

Source: adapted from Feast on the Cheap, originally from A Couple in the Kitchen

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