James Carrier
Makes about 5 1/2 quarts; 10 to 12 servings

This top-rated pasta soup features Italian sausage, chopped veggies, canned diced tomatoes, and cannellini beans.  Serve with crusty bread for a hearty meal.

How to Make It

Step 1

Squeeze sausages from casings into an 8- to 10-quart pan over high heat and stir often, breaking them apart with a spoon, until browned and crumbly, 8 to 10 minutes. Spoon out and discard all but 1 tablespoon fat from pan.

Step 2

Add carrots, onion, and garlic; stir often until onion is limp, 5 to 7 minutes. Add broth, tomatoes (including juice), beans, and basil and bring to a boil.

Step 3

Add pasta, reduce heat, and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, until pasta is just tender to bite, about 10 minutes. Skim and discard fat. Stir in spinach and cook just until it is wilted, about 30 seconds. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve soup from the pan, or pour into a tureen. Offer parmesan cheese to add to taste.

Chef's Notes

You can prepare soup through step 2 up to 1 day ahead, but do not bring mixture to a boil; instead, cool, cover, and chill. To reheat, lift off and discard fat; bring soup to a boil.

Ratings & Reviews

Penny1's Review

June 27, 2013
We love hearty soups, whether it's hot or cold outside. This one is excellent. as well as very easy I used mild Italian sausage, but added crushed red pepper to taste. Also used small shells, which I cooked separately and added at the last minute. I served with French bread which made for a delicious complete meal.

harobed8's Review

February 04, 2013

Reuscher2010's Review

October 07, 2012
Excellent soup. Even the kids enjoyed it. Will definitely make again!

JRGW81's Review

September 26, 2012
A great recipe. I used Hot Italian Turkey Sausage and orzo pasta instead of shells. I think the orzo balanced the soup a little better - there wasn't one ingredient that was more prominent.

julie64's Review

January 04, 2012
Quite delish! Used turkey sausage and added some red wine (because that's how I roll!). Let it simmer for about 45 minutes. Prepared the shells separately and had the soup ladled over them. Served with warm roasted garlic bread. Will definitely make again!

cmata1's Review

January 24, 2011
Perfect and easy!

RoinAZ89's Review

January 23, 2011
This is a great soup, so much flavor. I would not use the large shells again and I also cook shells separately. My son in law & I had a similar soup at lunch the day I was making it at home and he like mine better than the restaurants and I had forgotten to add the cheese.

skoc50's Review

January 17, 2011
Very good & hearty soup. I used half mild Italian sausage & half Chicken Sicilian sausage and it worked quite well. I might use a medium-size shell pasta next time...the large get really large when they're cooked. I forgot to add the parmesan cheese at the end. I'm sure that would have been the finishing touch. Served with crusty bread on a cold winter's day, this is a complete meal in a pot.

DHOLDT's Review

November 28, 2010
Very flavorful and hearty! It has become a regular at our house!

amysmeans's Review

November 24, 2010
Great recipe as-is and I love that you can add any other veggies you may have on hand (zucchini, cabbage, etc.) and it just gets better! I will definitely try the other reviewer's tip to pre-cook and cool the pasta, mine got mushy at the end, but still so yummy! Will definitely make again.