Hearty, nutritious and satisfying for even the staunchest meat eater in your family, this soup is essential autumn fare. It’s the perfect soothing dish, to come into from the cold.
Loaded with the all the goodness of vegetables and protein from the beans, I also added a handful of red lentils – which boosted not only the protein, but added to the texture. Be sure to really cook down mirepoix – the onion, celery and carrot – add it after the crumbled sausage is browned and let it cook for at least 15 minutes. This step will really intensify the base flavour of the soup, and is well worth the extra effort.
Both delicious and healthy, if making soup is not your thing, I urge you to start. Even if you’re a novice cook, by nature, most soup recipes are very forgiving. As long as you remember to season each step and especially to taste as you cook, you’ll soon be amazed by your results.
The only extra you really need for this – is some good bread to mop up the juices!!
Italian Sausage & Cannellini Bean Soup
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 links, hot or sweet Italian sausages, removed from casings
1 medium onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
2 carrots, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme
3 – 4 cups chicken stock, broth or water
1 cup canned tomatoes with juices
1 can cannellini beans (or chick peas, pinto, mixed, etc) drained and rinsed
1/2 cup rough chopped Italian flat leaf parsley, to garnish
*extra – 1/2 cup of red lentils
1. Brown the sausage meat in the olive oil, in a large heavy bottomed pot at medium high heat. Add the onion, celery and carrots, season with a bit of the salt and pepper and cook for about 15 minutes.
2. Stir in the herbs and cook, stirring for about 5 minutes – the heat and oil will really activate the flavour here.
3. Add the broth, tomatoes, beans, remaining salt and pepper, and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally – until all veg are soft.
4. Serve with a hit of fresh parsley, for taste and colour.