Technically, it’s Spring. But you wouldn’t know it by the weather in our backyard. I’ve been craving this soup and finally gathered all the ingredients to make a big batch. Based on a recipe from Sunset Magazine from 2003, I’ve modified it to fit our tastes.
This soup freezes very well, just don’t add the spinach until you’re ready to eat it to keep the flavor fresh.
Makes about 5.5 quarts. About 10 servings.
1 pound hot Italian sausages
1 pound mild Italian sausages
(If you like things spicy you can use all hot Italian sausage, I prefer the mix)
2 carrots chopped
1 large white onion, peeled and chopped
4 large cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
3 quarts chicken broth
30 oz. diced tomatoes – I actually use the Pomi tomatoes and use 1.5 cartons.
2 cans (15 oz each) cannellini (white) beans, rinsed and drained
1.5 tablespoons dried rosemary (divided)
2 cups dried small shell pasta
9 oz spinach leaves, rinsed
grated parmesan cheese (garnish)
1. Squeeze sausages from casings into a large (8-10 quart) pan over high heat. Stir often and break apart meat with a wooden spoon until brown and crumbly. Spoon out all but about 1 tablespoon fat from the pan.
2. Add carrots, onion, and garlic, stir often until onion is soft. About 5 minutes. Add broth, tomatoes (including juice), beans and 1 tablespoon rosemary and bring to a boil.
3. Add pasta, reduce heat and simmer.
(If you want to freeze the whole batch stop at this point – I fill the canning jars with the amount I want to freeze – usually one third)
Simmer until pasta is just tender. Skim and discard any fat. Add remaining 1/2 tablespoon of rosemary and salt and pepper to taste.
4. Add spinach and stir until just wilted – this only takes 30 seconds or so.
Ladle into bowls and top with grated parmesan cheese.
For reheating from the freezer:
Thaw overnight. Bring soup to a boil and add fresh spinach until just wilted.