You probably already know how much I love Italian Sausage. It’s my #1, go to comfort food.
So it’s not surprising that this is one of my favorite soup recipes. It’s similar to two other soups that I make – Tuscan Bean Soup and Italian Wedding Soup, but since chunks of rich, savory Italian Sausage replace the meatballs, it’s much quicker and less fussy to make.
Beans and Greens (kale!) round things out for a bowl of soup that is pretty hard to beat.
This is a recipe that makes a big pot of soup. Enough to feed a crowd or for plenty of good leftovers.
Here’s what you need:
Italian Sausage, Sweet Potatoes, Kale, Onion, Garlic, Cannellini Beans, Chicken Broth, Water, Pasta, Pecorino Romano Cheese, Olive Oil, Salt & Pepper.
Gus hasn’t realized yet that this recipe does not include chicken. I think it’s funny how many ingredient pictures I’ve taken to find him hiding in the background.
Finely chop one large onion. Heat 2 Tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Add the onions and sauté for 5 minutes until tender but not browned.
If you have bulk sausage, you’re ready to go. If not, 3 links usually equal about 1 pound of sausage. Remove the sausage from the casings and break it up as you put it into the pan with the onions.
As the sausage browns, it becomes easier to break apart with a wooden spatula or spoon. Cook the sausage until nicely browned and no longer bright pink, about 5 minutes.
Finely chop 3-4 cloves of garlic. Peel 2 sweet potatoes and cut them into largish bite-sized cubes. You want pieces of sweet potato that are sized to be easy to eat with a soup spoon but not so small that they will turn into mush as they cook.
Add the garlic and cubes of sweet potato to the pot. Add 4 cups of chicken broth and 2 cups of water.
Bring the pot to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes. (Note: If I have one in the freezer, I will also toss in a parmesan cheese rind for extra flavor.)
When the sweet potatoes are almost fork tender, add 2 (15 oz) cans of drained and rinsed cannelini beans and 3/4 cup of small pasta like shells or elbow macaroni.
Bring the soup back up to a boil if it has stopped and continue to cook for 10 minutes.
While the soup cooks, rinse a medium sized bunch of kale (about 1 pound) and use a sharp knife to cut the large, woody stem away from the dark leafy parts.
Roughly chop the kale and add it to the pot. Use your spoon to submerge the kale leaves so that they will wilt in the hot soup. I have about 7 cups of kale but it will wilt down to practically nothing.
At this point, you might need to add just a bit more water to get a nice, soupy consistency. Season with salt & pepper to taste.
You can use a vegetable peeler to shave Romano or Parmesan cheese for a tasty garnish. Add some crusty Italian bread for dunking.
The basic recipe for this wonderful soup came from Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food magazine which was discontinued but lives on in my ipad. I added the beans because I just can’t seem to leave them out of most soups. Thanks to Tracy at Shutterbean for inspiring me to make it again!
Here’s the recipe: