I had it in my mind over the weekend that I really wanted to make soup with white beans and spinach. No rhyme or reason for that. It’s just what I “felt like.” The afternoon of the day I decided on this, my husband had already put ribs the crockpot in the morning (unbeknownst to me), and the next day we were invited out to dinner. So, no soup for me!
I finally got to the day I would put this into action. White beans. Check. Spinach. Check. Homemade canned tomatoes. Check. Vegetarian? Maybe. But I scrounged around the freezer and found a pound of Spicy Italian Sausage that’s blended at our local grocer. Perfect! I wouldn’t have to spice it up too much with anything else. And this local blend is absolutely delicious! My husband uses it in his huge batches of spaghetti sauce that we always freeze for quick late night meals. I have yet to disclose that recipe. He might have to kill me if I do. 😉
I only used 1/2 pound of this sausage, as it is REALLY spicy. Now I know that 100% of my readers don’t visit this particular store (and if you do, then I don’t know about you) so my suggestion is to buy bulk Italian-spiced sausage, then add cayenne pepper, to taste. I’m going to guess maybe 1/8 teaspoon to start and build up from there? Either way, you can omit the cayenne or add or reduce to your taste.
I made this soup in less than a half-hour while on a conference call at work, as I was working after hours. Thank goodness for hands-free headsets and mute buttons, huh? While I’m sure you won’t be in that situation while preparing this soup, it’s nice to know you can.
I know this would convert into a wonderful vegetarian recipe by using vegetable stock and omitting the sausage, as there are plenty of beans in this! You’d probably have to add salt and play with the seasonings, though. I hope you enjoy!
Spicy Italian Sausage, White Bean, and Spinach Soup
1/2 pound Spicy Italian Sausage (or bulk Italian Sausage and add cayenne pepper to taste)
1/2 cup chopped sweet onion
1/2 cup baby carrots, sliced 1/4-inch thin
2 teaspoons minced garlic (or 2 cloves minced)
Black pepper, to taste
1/2 teaspoon Italian dried seasoning herbs
6 to 7 cups homemade or low-sodium chicken broth
2 cans white beans, rinsed and drained
1 pint jar homemade canned tomatoes, diced, or one 14-0unce can low sodium diced tomatoes
6 cups fresh spinach, roughly chopped (this was half of a 9-ounce bag)
In a dutch oven or soup pot, add the sausage, onion, and carrots over medium heat. Cook until the sausage is cooked through, about 10 minutes. Drain grease, if needed. Mine was lean enough and did not have to. Grind a bunch of black pepper over it, add the Italian dried seasoning herbs, chicken broth, beans, and tomatoes (including liquid). Bring it up to a simmer, and then add the spinach. Give it a good stir, and as soon as the spinach wilts, it is ready to serve!