Italian Wedding Soup with White Beans and Spinach

Italian Wedding Soup with White Beans and Spinach

So much has happened since I last posted…

The summer flashed before my eyes, my husband and I found out that we’re pregnant! We took a two week trip to Europe—although it was without wine and mostly struggling through nausea and jet lag, we still had the time of our lives! I took a promotion at work, the Chicago Cubs won the World Series! Two of my dearest friends moved away, my best friend delivered her first child, and we found out we’re having a baby girl!

The fog from the excitement, exhaustion and busyness of the last few months has cleared and suddenly we’re embarking on my favorite time of year. The days seem shorter, the air is crisper, trees are turning color and I find myself longing to nestle into the comforts of home. I created this recipe about a month ago when my desire to cook finally returned. I was so excited to be back in the kitchen that I spent an entire Sunday afternoon cooking and baking. I made muffins, granola, chocolate chip cookies, cornbread and this soup. I’m so pleased how it turned out! Its light, yet hearty and deeply satisfying. I hope you enjoy.

Ingredients (serves 6-8, prep time 20 min, cook time 30 min)

1/2 cup diced yellow onion

1/2 cup diced carrot

1/2 cup diced celery

2 medium garlic cloves, minced (about 1 tbsp)

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp kosher salt, separated in half

1.25 lbs sweet Italian turkey or pork sausage (about 5 links, removed from casing)

1 tsp each of dried oregano, parsley, and basil

2 bay leaves

2, 32oz cans of chicken broth

2 cups crushed tomatoes

1 parmesan rind

3, 15.5oz cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

1 head Lacinto kale, washed and roughly chopped (also known as Tuscan or Dino Kale)

1/2 lb fresh spinach, washed

1 tbsp grated parmesan for garnish

Directions

Dice yellow onion, carrot and celery and mince garlic cloves.

Heat extra virgin olive oil in a large sauce pot over medium heat. Sauté onion, celery, carrot, garlic and kosher salt for about 3-5 minutes until translucent.

Stir in sausage (removed from casing) and add dried oregano, parsley and basil.

Sauté until meat is browned on all sides, about 5 more minutes.

Add chicken broth, crushed tomatoes, bay leaves and parmesan rind. Bring to a boil. I’ve found the parmesan rind is super important for deepening the flavor of this soup so please don’t skip it! If you buy a nice wedge of Parmigianno Reggiano to grate over the soup before serving, simply cut off the whole rind and toss it into the soup. I learned this trick a long time ago watching a cooking show and now I never make soup without it. Once boiling, turn down heat to med-low and let simmer for 30 minutes.

Just before serving add cannellini beans, kale and spinach. Simmer for another 2-3 minutes, just long enough for the greens to wilt while retaining their bright green color.

Add the other half of the kosher salt if desired. Remove bay leaves and parmesan rind before serving. Sprinkle with 1 Tbsp grated parmesan cheese.

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