My husband was out for the evening so my friend and her son came over for dinner. Since it was a cold and rainy day, I was in the mood for a hearty Italian soup. I found a Cooking Light recipe for Pasta e Fagioli that I adapted. It was rich in flavor and thick with beans, meat, and pasta. At the last minute, I threw in some fresh spinach which topped it off nicely. This soup was served with a fresh salad made by my friend and some crusty bread slathered with butter. All of us loved this soup, especially the kids. It was a wonderful meal shared with great friends.
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 2-3 turkey Italian sausage, casing removed
- 1/2 sweet yellow onion, diced
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 28 oz can of whole tomatoes, blended
- 4 cups of chicken broth
- 2 15 oz cans of white beans, drained
- 1 tsp of dried basil
- 1/2 tsp of dried oregano
- Pinch of crushed red pepper
- Sea salt and fresh cracked pepper
- 1 cup of tubed shaped pasta
- 1-2 cups of fresh baby spinach
- 2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
- Freshly grated Parmesan cheese for garnish
Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the diced onion and sauté for 3-4 minutes or until softened. Add the turkey sausage, removed from casing, and cook until done and well crumbled. Add the garlic and stir constantly for 60 seconds then add the chicken broth. Pour the tomatoes and their juices into a large bowl, blend the tomatoes thoroughly with an immersion blender (or just use a blender) then pour into the Dutch oven. Add the drained beans and seasonings to the soup and simmer partly covered for 1-2 hours.
When you are ready to eat, turn the soup up to a slow boil then add the pasta and cook per instructions. Taste the soup and re-season if needed. Once the pasta is cooked, add the fresh spinach and parsley. Serve with a bit of freshly grated Parmesan cheese on top. Enjoy.
Note: Be careful not to add too much pasta because it will thicken up the soup too much.