Sunday, November 6, 2011

Italian Sausage Soup

This is super easy and perfect for fall. The best part is you can play around with the ingredients. Feel free to use whatever fresh or frozen veggies you have, beans or no beans, you get the picture. Taste before adding any salt. The beef broth is pretty salty and you can add some water if necessary.
I made this in the crockpot but you can also cook it in a large pot on the stovetop. Be sure to add the spinach and noodles towards the end of cooking or they will both become very mushy.

1 pound Italian sausage, removed from casing
1 clove garlic, minced
3(14 ounce) cans beef broth- 1 regular and 2 low sodium
1 cup of water- if necessary
1(14.5 ounce) can Italian-style stewed tomatoes, undrained
2 cups of sliced carrots
1 (14.5 ounce) can great Northern beans, drained
2 cups of green beans, corn, broccoli, or zucchini
2 cups of baby spinach
1 cup of elbow macaroni or other small pasta
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt, if necessary
shredded Parmesan cheese, if desired

To make in the crockpot- Remove sausage from casing and brown with garlic in a pan. Place sausage in the crockpot with the remaining ingredients. Cook on low for 2-3 hours. Give the soup a taste and adjust seasonings if necessary. Add noodles 30 min before serving and spinach a few minutes before serving. Top with Parmesan cheese if desired.

To make on the stovetop- In a stockpot, brown sausage with garlic. Stir in broth, tomatoes and carrots. Taste the soup before adding salt and pepper because the beef broth is quite salty. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer 15 minutes. Stir in beans and zucchini and turn on low heat. Add noodles 15 min before serving and spinach 5 min before serving. Total cooking time on the stovetop is 45-60 min. Top with Parmesan cheese if desired.

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