This is seriously one of the best soups I have ever made. Seriously. My husband couldn’t stop. All I could hear were groans and slurping coming from his side of the room.
And it totally added to the whole soup eating experience that the high was 49 degrees the day I made this. We ate it in front of the fire while nestled on the couch. *sigh*
This recipe comes from Ina Garten, and I adapted it to fit my needs. My need that day was to use bacon instead of pancetta, but when I opened up the drawer to get the bacon that I swore I had, there was none. So I thought, “well, this could easily become vegan with some vegetable stock,” but I knew if I put one more vegan meal in front of my husband (he’s had like two in his whole life, you know, and those have been in the last couple of weeks so he is on complete overload) he might start to cry or something. So I pulled out a package of Italian sausage that had been in my freezer for a questionably long time.
The good news is we didn’t die from it.
The better news is that this may be my all-time favorite soup recipe in the history of the universe. That good.
This yummy soup is loaded with vegetables, beans, sausage, and pasta, and gets some real depth of flavor from the pesto and wine stirred in at the end. Large shreds of parmesan cheese on top, please, and don’t forget the crusty, toasted garlic bread.
Here are my notes:
–I used mezzi rigatoni in this and I loved it. Rigatoni is one of my favorite pasta shapes, but this soup required a smaller pasta, so it worked great. But you could substitute your favorite pasta shape.
–I like to keep my pasta separate from my soup because it swells when it sits in the broth. It’s fine immediately after you stir it in, but if you have leftovers the next day, the pasta gets too soft and mushy to me.
–Like all soup, this soup is awesome in flavor the next day.
–You could leave out the white wine if you want. No biggie. It’s just adds another depth of flavor.
–By all means use fresh herbs if you have them. I used dried, though, and it worked for me.
–I am definitely going to be making this again soon. I would like to try making it vegetarian or vegan.
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 1 pound sweet Italian sausage
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- 3 carrots, diced
- 3 celery stalks, diced
- 1 butternut squash, peeled and cubed into small cubed
- 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
- 6 to 8 cups chicken stock
- 2 bay leaves
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 tablespoons store-bought pesto
- 2-3 cups fresh baby spinach leaves
- ¼ cup dry white wine
- 1 pound Mezzi Rigatoni, cooked to al dente, then drained and tossed with olive oil
- Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving
- Heat a large, heavy pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Drizzle with olive oil. Cook Italian sausage until done, breaking up into small bits with spatula.
- Add the onions, carrots, celery, squash, garlic, and thyme and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes, until the vegetables begin to soften.
- Add the tomatoes, 6 cups of the chicken stock, the bay leaves, and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes, until the vegetables are tender. Discard the bay leaves. Stir in the beans, pesto, spinach and white wine. (The soup should be quite thick but if it's too thick, add more chicken stock.)
- To Serve, place some pasta in a bowl, then ladle the soup over it. Top with shreds of fresh parmesan cheese.