Italian Chiken Soup
1 pound Italian sausage see note
4 strips bacon cut into small pieces
1/2 medium onion chopped
3 cloves garlic minced
4 (14 fluid ounce) cans white beans (cannellini) drained
4 cups chicken broth
1 dash Italian seasoning
1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
2 small carrots peeled & chopped small
2 cups (packed) fresh baby spinach
Salt & pepper to taste
Add the sausage meat to a large soup pot, along with the bacon (I cut it up using kitchen shears).
Cook over medium-high heat until the sausage and bacon are somewhat crispy/the fat has been rendered out (this can take upwards of 15 minutes). Meanwhile, prep the other ingredients.
Transfer the sausage and bacon to a plate (I don’t line it with paper towel because the extra fat adds more flavor, but you can if you want). Leave about 2 tablespoons of fat in the pot (spoon any excess out).
Add the onion to the pot and sauté it for 3-5 minutes or until it’s softened and starting to lightly brown.
Stir in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
Add the beans, chicken broth, Italian seasoning, and rosemary. Give it a good stir and scrape up any brown bits off the bottom of the pot.
Take the pot off the stove. Using an immersion/stick blender, purée the soup. I like to leave some beans whole. The soup will thicken a bit more as it cooks, but the thickness/texture will be similar to what it is after you do this part, so keep that in mind. If you don’t have a stick blender, transfer a ladle or two of beans to a regular blender, or use a potato masher or fork for a more rustic texture.
Return the sausage and bacon to the pot and add in the chopped carrots as well. Increase the heat to high. Once the soup starts to boil, cover the pot with the lid slightly ajar and reduce the heat so it’s simmering. Cook for 15-20 minutes or until the carrots have softened and the soup has thickened up a bit more.
Stir in the spinach and let it wilt for a minute or two. Taste and season with salt & pepper as needed. Serve immediately.
For the sausage, anything around the 1 pound/16 oz. ballpark is fine – it doesn’t need to be exact. Here in Canada I buy a 500g (17.6 oz.) 5-pack of Johnsonville mild Italian sausages and take the meat out of the casings.
Use low-sodium chicken broth if sensitive to salt. Bacon and sausages can be fairly salty so you probably won’t need to add much extra salt to this soup.
Instant Pot method: sauté the ingredients as instructed, blend the beans right in the pot, cook it on high pressure for 8 minutes, then add the spinach in after you release the pressure. If needed, add extra broth to thin the soup out.
Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Salt & Lavender makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.