Hearty Italian Sausage Soup

Snowmageddon is heading to Charleston, which means it’s time to hunker down with my hearty Italian sausage soup. The first time I made this soup was with my grandma and I clearly remember her scolding me for not crumbling up the sausage properly (she had to take over). Breaking up the sausage is really the only elbow grease this recipe requires, the rest is just adding the ingredients to the pot. This soup is sure to keep you warm as we all watch the 3 flakes of snow hit the ground in Charleston.

What you need

  • 1 lb mild Italian sausage
  • 3 carrots
  • 1 cup rainbow chard leaves
  • 2 rainbow chard stems
  • 1 16 oz can Great Northern beans
  • 1 13.5 oz can diced tomatoes
  • ½ cup tomato sauce
  • 1 box orchiette pasta
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 32 oz Chicken stock

Seasonings

  • 1 Tb Italian seasoning
  • 1 Tb red pepper flakes
  • 2 tsp pepper
  • Salt to taste
  • Parmesan cheese for garnish

Servings: 6

Time: 30 mins

get cookin’

Start by boiling the water for the pasta in a medium pot. While the water is coming to a boil, chop up the garlic, carrot, and rainbow chard stems. I got the idea to use the rainbow chard stems in the soup because I felt wasteful just throwing them away. I find they add an earthy flavor to the soup and a texture similar to celery.

Once the water comes to a boil, add in the pasta and cook according to package instructions (about 10-12 mins). Put another medium pot on medium-high heat and add the olive oil. Once the olive oil heats up, add in the sausage and the garlic. Brown the sausage and don’t worry if some brown bits stick to the pan, that’s where the flavor is.

When the sausage is brown, pour in the chicken stock, beans, tomato sauce, and diced tomatoes. Next, add in the red pepper flakes, Italian seasoning, and salt and pepper. Once the seasonings are sprinkled in, add the carrots and rainbow chard stems and bring the mixture to a simmer.

Simmer the soup for 10-15 mins, until the carrots are tender. When the soup is ready to serve, add pasta (however much you want and don’t be skimpy) and a few chard leaves to each bowl. I like to keep the chard separate from the soup, because I find it gets too soggy when it’s cooked down and then kept in the fridge. I also keep the pasta separate because if you add it in the soup, it soaks up all the liquid and becomes mushy (another tip I learned from Gram).

soup! there it is

To top it all off, sprinkle some Parmesan cheese over the soup. This soup allows you to get the richness of the Italian sausage, but lightens it up with the addition of the veggies and tomato-based broth. If you need me, I’m going to be happily curled up with a bowl of this soup and watching way too much Netflix for the foreseeable future.

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