The perfect simple dinner on a busy night, this soup gets a double hit of fennel essence from chopped fennel bulb and the fennel seeds that flavor the sausage. Enjoy half for dinner tonight, and spoon half into a freezer bag to make life easier another night.
2 cups chopped onion
1 cup chopped fennel bulb
1/2 to 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
20 ounces hot Italian sausage links, casings removed
8 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup chopped fresh sage
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 cup dry white wine
6 cups unsalted chicken stock (such as Swanson)
2 cups chopped plum tomato
4 (14.5-ounce) cans organic cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
How to Make It
Heat a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add onion and next 4 ingredients (through garlic); cook 3 minutes. Reduce heat; cook 10 minutes or until sausage is browned and vegetables are tender, stirring to crumble sausage. Add sage and tomato paste; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add wine; cook 3 minutes or until liquid is reduced by half. Add stock; bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes. Add tomato and beans, and cook 2 minutes. Sprinkle with chopped parsley, or follow freezing instructions.
TO FREEZE: Cool soup to room temperature; seal in a large zip-top plastic freezer bag. Lay bag flat in freezer; freeze up to 2 months.
TO THAW: Microwave soup in bag at MEDIUM (50% power) for 4 minutes or until pliable.
TO REHEAT: Pour soup into a Dutch oven. Cover and cook over medium heat until thoroughly heated (about 20 minutes).
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I love this recipe! I'm generally not a fan of any soup that isn't creamy, so I was really stepping out of my wheelhouse on this one, and I'm so glad I did. It's super flavorful, and totally satisfying.
I used regular Italian sausage and just used the crushed red pepper, definitely had enough heat and flavor. At the very end I threw in a bag of spinach for some extra veggie power and was so thrilled with the results. To top it all off, we added a spoonful of parmesan.
I made recipe exactly as written and it was delicious. I love spicy food and it sure had a kick if you follow the ingredients exactly. I am not sure how anyone can say this recipe is bland. I also decided to freeze the remaining soup in 1.5 cup mason jars. I have since reheated each portion and it was just as good as the first time. All the ingredients stayed fresh and the tomatoes didn't even get mushy. I am sure it is because I used fresh tomatoes instead of canned as others did.
I shared this with my extended family and they loved it too. I will be making this again!! Thank you Cooking Light for a healthy and very flavorful soup that fills me up and I can freeze for quick meals later.
I tweaked the recipe quite a bit to suit my tastes. Added 1 cup each of carrots and parsnips. Halved the wine. Used a large can of tomatoes in purée (28-oz) but skipped the tomato paste. Added 2-3 cups more of chicken stock. Used only one large can of beans (19-oz). Added fresh herbs, mint and fennel fronds. And I added 1 cup of cooked rice at the very end.
I made 1/2 the amount and we ate it for a few meals. Definitely NOT bland. The hot Italian pork sausage adds enough heat. I would leave out the extra red pepper next time. The wine and fennel give a lot of depth and flavor. Really delicious.
Made per recipe. Apparently, hot Italian sausage is much hotter than I had imagined because this was too spicy hot for both me and my husband. I added a 15 oz can of diced tomatoes (including juice) just to tone it down. It is very flavorful. I will make it again but I might use 1/2 hot Italian sausage and 1/2 mild sausage and cut down on the red pepper flakes. I don't really "measure" when adding herbs/spices so I may have overdone it.
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