Tuscan Sausage Soup

Have you ever followed a recipe, but didn’t pay attention to the amount it makes? Like follow the ingredient quantities, but not put two and two together to realize how much the recipe actually yields? I have to admit this isn’t the first time I’ve done this… But this is by far the biggest oversight I’ve had… I managed to make 8 quarts of soup for just Jon and I. In my defense, it had been a long day. I had to leave work early for a dentist appt, then rush home to meet the repair man to fix our dishwasher, then run out to the grocery store to pick up the ingredients for a weeks worth of meals, and get back and quickly throw together this soup.

I completely overlooked the 2lbs of sausage, 3 quarts of chicken broth, and two cans of cannellini beans. But as I started assembling everything I realized I was gonna need a bigger pot! So I brought out the Mac Daddy stock pot and cooked up my “vat” of soup. Thank god it turned out really good! We gave one Tupperware to our neighbors, had my parents over the next day for leftovers, and finished the rest two days later for dinner. So none of it went to waste. But I will probably 1/2 or even 1/4 the recipe next go-round.

The soup is very easy to make – minimal chopping, minimal measuring. I used a mild Italian sausage and topped ours with shaved Parmesan cheese. I can’t do the green can thing anymore. Now that I’ve discovered shaved Parmesan its the only way to go. (I may have posted this before, but its worth a second post… So good!)

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Tuscan Sausage Soup
Feeds A LOT of people!

Ingredients
2 lbs. Italian sausage
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 sweet onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
3 quarts chicken broth
2 14.5-ounce cans diced tomatoes, with juice
2 15-ounce cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon dried basil
1-lb (16-oz) whole wheat shell pasta, uncooked
8 ounces spinach leaves
salt and pepper to taste
Parmesan cheese for topping (if desired)

Directions
1. Remove sausage from casings and brown over med-high heat in the bottom of your largest stockpot (seriously… I ended up swapping to my 8 qt and it was perfect). Break up the sausage as you brown it.

2. Add the carrots, onion and garlic and saute until tender and starting to turn a bit golden, about 7 minutes.

3. Add the chicken broth, tomatoes with juice, beans, uncooked pasta and basil. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to a simmer. Cover the pot and continue cooking until pasta becomes a bit tender, about 7 minutes.

4. Stir in the spinach and cook until just wilted. Taste and season with salt and pepper, according to your preference.

5. Serve hot, garnished with parmesan (the good kind!).

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