It’s just my luck that I want to talk soup when, for the first time in over two months, the mercury’s rising close to 64 degrees. But I’m dishing out this recipe anyway, because we all know winter’s far from over. And if you’re like me, you’ll jump at the chance to prepare an easy and comforting pot of soup regardless of the temperature. Besides being easy, this soup is also satisfying, hearty and healthy. Its brothy base is enriched with plenty of turkey Italian sausage, spinach and tomatoes. A dusting of Parmesan cheese at the end brings all of those flavors together nicely. Although the prep time for this recipe is minimal, the soup can be made even faster by scratching the mini-meatball step and cooking all the sausage meat at one time. While it’s cooking, crumble the meat with the side of a spoon or a potato masher. This will change the texture of the soup but not the delicious flavor.
Sausage and Spinach Soup Recipe
6 links hot or sweet turkey Italian sausage
2 medium onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 quarts chicken stock
2 15-ounce cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 14.5-ounce can diced stewed tomatoes, undrained
1 10-ounce can Rotel tomatoes, undrained
1 tablespoon tomato paste
4 cups fresh spinach, stems removed
1 tablespoon dried basil leaves
1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Salt and black pepper to taste
Remove sausage from casings. Form sausage meat into mini-meatballs. Coat a large saucepan or Dutch oven with cooking spray. Place pan over medium-high heat. Working in batches, cook mini-meatballs until brown on all sides. Transfer cooked meatballs to a plate. Set aside. Add onions and garlic to pan (may need to add more cooking spray); cook for 2 minutes. Stir in chicken stock, beans, tomatoes and tomato paste. Return meatballs to pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer; cook 15 minutes. Add spinach, basil, oregano, cayenne and salt and black pepper to taste. Cook an additional 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve soup with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese. Serves 8-10.