It is soup time in the Bakke household.  We have cleaned out and defrosted refrigerators and freezers, trimmed and racked the garden and watched football today in preparation for getting ready for the fall season.  And what is next? The Holidays!!!

It is a busy but wonderful time of the year.  We are planning on traveling out to Colorado for Christmas and must be starting getting in the mood now.  What better way than soup and a beautiful roaring fire.

It has felt like a soup day to me on this beautiful fall day.  It is hard to choose which recipe because in all my years of cooking; I would have to say soups are one of my favorite meals to prepare.  I went to my tried and true – Italian Sausage, White Bean, and Pasta Soup.  I have had more people, especially one dear friend, who have said how much they enjoy making this recipe out of the cookbook for their family.

Soup spells comfort, and this hearty soup is precisly what people yearn for on a chilly fall or winter night.  This recipe makes a large amount, so plan for a crowd or freeze some for another evening. I am planning on giving my mother some for her dinner tomorrow. Happy Cooking!

Italian Sausage, White Bean and Pasta Soup

Category: Soup

Cuisine: Italian

Serving Size: 10 - 12 servings

Italian Sausage, White Bean and Pasta Soup

Ingredients

  • 2 Lbs. hot or mild italian sausage - ground
  • 3 Carrots - peeled, medium chopped
  • 2 Celery Ribs - medium chopped
  • 1 Medium onion - medium chopped
  • 4 Green onions - chopped white and some green parts
  • 2 Garlic cloves - minced
  • 1 T. balsamic vinegar
  • 3 - 32 oz. box chicken broth
  • 3 - 14 1/2 oz. fired roasted tomatoes
  • 3 - 15 oz. cannellini white beans - rinsed and drained
  • 2 T. fresh rosemary - chopped
  • 2 T. dried basil
  • 2 C. dried large shell-shaped pasta
  • 12 oz. spinach leaves - prewashed and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 C. pesto
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 C. Parmesan cheese - grated

Instructions

  1. Place sausage in an 8 to 10-quart pan over medium-high heat and stir often, breaking the sausage apart with a spoon, until browned and crubmly, about 8 to 10 minutes.
  2. Remove from pan and drain on paper towels.
  3. Wipe grease out of the pan; it does not have to be perfect, as a little grease can be left.
  4. Add the carrots, celery, onion, green onion and garlic to the pan.
  5. Saute over medium heat for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring often, until the onions are wilted.
  6. Add the sausage, vinegar, broth, tomatoes (including juice), beans, rosemary, and basil. Bring to a boil. Let simmer for 10 minutes.
  7. Add pasta and reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is just tender to the bite, about 10 minutes.
  8. Skim and discard fat.
  9. Stir in spinach and pesto; and cook just until the spinach is wilted, about 30 seconds.
  10. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  11. Top with Parmesan cheese.
  12. Serve immediately.
http://lauriebakkeskitchen.com/2011/10/a-hearty-soup-meal-2/

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