Updated: Sep 20
If you're looking for a meal that is full of flavor, oh-so-comforting, balanced with protein, veggies and starch, and cooked in ONE pot, give this hearty soup a try! It's a family favorite in our house, perfect for cooler days.
Note: It's great to make ahead or for leftovers as it tastes even better the next day. Did we mention it freezes well so it's perfect for those busy nights?
1 lb sweet Italian sausage (we recommend Hempler brand)
Hot pepper flakes – to taste (we recommend 1 tsp to start)
1 onion, diced (we recommend white)
2 large carrots, peeled and thinly sliced into half coins
5-8 large cloves garlic, sliced, chopped or minced
2-3 stalks celery, diced
Salt & pepper
2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp dried basil
1 bay leaf
1 tsp dried thyme
2 quarts low-sodium chicken broth
Button or cremini mushrooms, quartered
15 oz can tomatoes (we recommend crushed San Marzanos or petite diced Italian tomatoes)
2 15 oz cans white beans (we recommend one can each: cannellini and small white beans)
1 head of lacinato kale, de-stemmed and sliced into thin strips
Optional: Parmesan rind for added depth of flavor (if you happen to have one leftover)
Optional: Half-and-half or whipping cream
Shaved or shredded parmesan for garnish
Bring heavy bottomed pot such as a Dutch oven up to med-high heat. While warming, add a heavy swirl of EVOO (about 2 tsp). Once hot, add and crumble sausage, add pepper flakes, cook until browned – about 10 min.
Add onion, carrots, garlic and celery + salt, pepper, oregano, basil, bay leaf and dried thyme. Cook stirring frequently until veggies have softened and onion begins to become transparent.
Add chicken broth, mushrooms, tomatoes, and beans. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce to low heat and simmer, covered, for at least 15 min and up to a couple of hours. We recommend at least an hour.
Remove bay leaf (and parmesan rind if using). Taste and adjust seasonings. Depending on the flavor in the sausage, you may need to add more herbs, salt, pepper, and/or pepper flakes. Add kale 15 minutes before serving.
Ladle into bowls, add a swirl of cream if using. Garnish with parmesan.