The combination of slightly sweet and spicy Italian sausage with mild white beans and spinach in a rich garlic-parmesan stock creates an incredibly delicious and satisfying soup. Serve with fresh baked crusty sourdough or your favorite GF rolls/biscuits with heaps of cultured butter. So good!
- 3 tbsp olive oil, divided
- 8-10oz. sweet Italian sausage (we like sweet Italian chicken or turkey sausage)
- 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1 cup diced yellow onion
- 1/2 cup diced organic celery
- 4 cups homemade chicken stock
- 3 cups of soaked & cooked Great Northern white beans (equivalent to two 15oz. cans, rinsed)
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp dried Italian seasoning
- 1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 4 cups of tightly packed baby spinach leaves, stems
- 1 1/2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 cup shaved Parmesan, plus 1 piece of rind (optional)
- In a small bowl, add 1/3 cup of the beans and mash with a fork to form a paste; set aside. (Bean paste is used to create a heartier stock.)
- In a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat, add 1 tbsp of olive oil and the sausage links. Cook covered, turning occasionally, until sausage links are browned and cooked through (about 10 minutes). Turn off heat; remove sausage links from stockpot and transfer to a plate to cool.
- Reheat stockpot over medium heat, add the remaining olive oil, garlic, onion and celery. Sauté until veggies are tender (about 4-5 minutes). Meanwhile, cut sausage links in half and then slice about 1/2-inch thick. Add the sausage pieces (and any juices on the plate) back to the stockpot, along with the bean paste, two cups of water, the chicken stock, beans, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper and a two-inch piece of Parmesan rind (if you don't have, add 1/4 cup shaved Parmesan). Bring soup to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer covered for 8-10 minutes.
- Turn off the heat. Using tongs, remove the Parmesan rind. Stir in the spinach and lemon juice. Cover to allow spinach to wilt a few minutes. Ladle soup into bowls and top with shaved Parmesan.