The recipe begins by browning some Italian sausage. You can use sweet or hot Italian sausage or lowfat Italian chicken sausage. Once you’ve browned the sausage, use the same pan to sauté some aromatics – chopped onion, celery and a little grated carrot. I use white beans in this recipe, but you can substitute your favorite legume.
If you’d like to turn this soup into a one-dish meal, stir in a couple cups of chopped fresh spinach or baby arugula during the last few minutes of cooking.
SAUSAGE AND WHITE BEAN SOUP
1 pound sweet or hot Italian sausage, casings removed
1 cup minced onion, about 1 small onion
½ cup chopped celery, about 1 large stalk ½ cup grated carrot, about 2 small carrots
2 teaspoons minced garlic, about 2 large cloves
2 teaspoons Italian seasonings
¼-½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
6 cups beef or chicken broth, preferably reduced-sodium
2 16-ounce cans white beans, rinsed and drained
1 28-ounce can petite diced tomatoes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Crumble the sausage into the Dutch oven and cook until browned. Use a slotted spoon to remove the cooked sausage and then drain all but 1 tablespoon of remaining fat. Heat the remaining fat over medium-high heat. Add the onion, celery and carrot and sauté until tender. Stir in the garlic, Italian seasonings and crushed red-pepper flakes and sauté for 1 minute. Stir in the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, slightly covered, for 30 minutes. Makes 6 servings.