November 4, 2010

Jen's Italian Sausage Soup

Mmmmmm,soup. I love making soup, I love eating soup, I just love everything about soup. Furthermore, they good food. As you can tell, I was in a soup type of mood this evening. Conveniently, I had a some leftover odds and ends that needed to be used, so I threw together this very delicious "meal in a bowl". (You thought I was going to say 'soup' again didn't you????) This turned out so fantastic; it was everything I love guessed it...soup.

Jen's Italian Sausage Soup

2 Tablespoons of olive oil
1/2 of an onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
3 links of hot Italian sausage, casings removed
2 cups of marinara sauce (I used leftover Rocco's How Low Can You Go Low-Fat Marinara Sauce )
4 cups of chicken broth
1 cup of whole-wheat rotini pasta, cooked & drained
1 can of white cannelini beans or Great Northern beans, rinsed
splash of balsamic vinegar to taste
2 cups of baby spinach
1/2 cup of fresh basil, cut into chiffonade
salt and pepper to taste
Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated (for garnish)

Cook pasta in boiling water according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

In a large dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onions and a big pinch of salt, then saute until onions are soft and translucent. Add Italian sausage to the pot, breaking up with a wooden spoon until it is in large crumbles. Once the sausage is cooked (about 5 minutes), add the garlic and saute for an additional minute, or until garlic is fragrant. Add marinara and chicken broth. Season with salt and pepper. Add the white beans. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook for about 15 minutes.

Once cook time is up, add the cooked pasta, spinach, and basil. Splash in the balsamic vinegar and stir to combine. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper, if needed. Serve in bowls and garnish with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.

The Result:
Yum! We all loved this soup. It's a keeper!

One final note, I would recommend using turkey Italian sausage, if you can find it. If not, no worries...I used high-quality pork sausage and it worked just fine. In fact, mine was pretty lean and I didn't even have to drain off any grease.

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