Say hello to the ultimate comfort food, Italian sausage soup!
If you need a fantastic one-pot dinner that’ll warm your bones, this is it.
It blends Italy’s greatest hits, like smoky sausage, beans, and fresh veggies, in a tomato and beef broth.
And the cherry on top? Grated Parmesan cheese.
Is your mouth watering yet?
The only thing missing from this classic Italian sausage soup recipe is the garlic bread! Or maybe a few homemade ranch oyster crackers.
Either way, dig out those stock pots and let’s whip it up.
Italian Sausage Soup
Let me start by saying: this isn’t your average sausage soup.
It explodes with flavors in every bite and is hearty enough to make it a whole meal.
And it’s packed with protein from the sausage and beans, plus a secret punch of nutritious veggies.
The recipe calls for carrots, onions, and zucchini, but feel free to add more!
The last time I made it, I threw in leftover mushrooms, peppers, and peas, and it was a hit.
Oh, and if you want it extra hearty, try throwing in some pasta or tortellini!
- Sausage – Opt for a spicy Italian sausage to bring on the heat or a more mild savory sausage. Or keep things light with chicken or turkey sausage.
- Great Northern beans – For a protein kick, Great Northern beans add lovely flavor and texture. They’re meaty and hearty, ensuring no one goes to bed hungry.
- Beef stock – It adds deep, meaty flavors that pair well with sausage and Italian seasoning spices. Use a premade or throw some beef bouillon cubes with water.
- Italian stewed tomatoes – Unlike marinara or tomato sauce, stewed tomatoes are meatier and add a more rustic feel to this soup.
- Veggies – Carrots, onions, and spinach are just the start. Not only do they add more depth of flavors, but they also make this soup so colorful and pretty!
- Minced garlic – Is it even Italian if it doesn’t incorporate garlic? Jarred garlic works in a pinch, but as every Italian nonna knows: fresh is always best!
- Parmesan cheese – Freshly grated Parmesan cheese is the cherry on top of this Italian dinner. While it’s completely optional (the soup is flavorful on its own), I love the salty kick.
- Spices – This recipe calls for a simple salt and pepper to enhance the ingredients. But feel free to add more. For example, if you go for non-spicy sausage, a dash of red chili flakes wouldn’t hurt!
How to Make Italian Sausage Soup
1. Cook the sausage. Add crumbled sausage and garlic to a large stock pot on medium-high heat. Cook it until browned, frequently stirring it for 5-7 minutes.
2. Add the liquid. After the sausage browns, pour the beef stock, carrots, and tomatoes into the pot. Lower the heat to medium, cover it, and cook it for around 15 minutes until carrots become nice and tender.
3. Add the beans and zucchini. Beans and zucchini don’t need as much time to cook. Add them to the pot, cover them, and cook everything for another 15 minutes.
4. Remove from the heat. Turn off the heat, and take the pot off the burner. Add in the spinach, and cover it until it’s wilted and tender.
5. Garnish. Before serving, garnish the soup with a generous sprinkle of freshly grated Parmesan cheese, and enjoy!
Tips and Variations
1. Add pasta. Are you a pasta fanatic? Adding pasta takes this soup over the top.
To ensure that every spoonful delivers equal parts sausage, pasta, and veggies, it’s best to use smaller noodles like Ditali.
For the perfect leftovers, keep the pasta separate so it doesn’t turn to mush when you reheat leftovers.
2. Take the sausage out of its casing. Remove it from its casing when browning your sausage, and ensure you don’t overcrowd the pot.
If there is too much sausage in the pan, it will steam instead of brown. You don’t want that.
3. Add more veggies. This is one of my go-to canned spinach recipes when I have some left in the pantry.
But feel free to clear out the vegetable drawer to make this Italian sausage soup hearty and healthy!
Mushrooms, peppers, celery, potatoes, and kale are all excellent additions.
4. Make it creamy. If you want a soup with a creamier texture, adding a splash of cream takes those flavors over the edge.
Throw in a splash of half and half, and taste as you go to get the perfect creamy consistency.
5. Keep it vegan. It’s super easy to vegan-ify this recipe with simple swaps. Use vegan sausage (my favorite is Beyond spicy sausage), or add more beans.
And instead of beef stock, use vegetable stock. Easy peasy!
6. Spice it up! If you prefer a spicy soup, there are a few ways to incorporate heat.
Spicy sausage infuses a lot of heat into the soup, but you can also add more heat as needed.
Start with a few sprinkles of red pepper flakes, and taste as you go.
Red pepper flakes marry perfectly with the acidity of the tomatoes and beef broth. But remember, a little goes a long way!
How to Store and Freeze
This recipe makes a big pot of soup, so there will likely be leftovers.
Place the leftover soup in an air-tight container to store in the fridge for up to 5 days.
If you want to make a big batch to freeze, it’s an excellent candidate for freezing!
Let your soup cool completely (or store it in the fridge) before popping it into the freezer.
Place the soup in a freezer-safe container, and store it in the freezer for up to 5 months.
Just be sure that if you add pasta, you keep it separate from the soup. Because while the sausage and broth freeze well, pasta doesn’t.
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