This Pasta, Sausage and Bean Soup that we made for dinner tonight would have been the perfect dish to have last night with all of the rain, but no matter... this was very satisfying and tasty even if it was warm and sunny outside! You could use whatever version of Italian sausages you like, but we prefer the hot Italian turkey variety so that is what we used here. Once the chunky pieces of sausage begin to brown, the aromatic combo of chopped onions, carrots, celery and garlic is stirred into the sausage and drippings and allowed to soften. To spice things up, also added at this point are dried basil, rosemary, sage and crushed red pepper flakes to compliment the heat in the sausages. Chicken broth, chunky fire-roasted diced tomatoes and kidney beans are stirred into the pot - this mixture slowly simmers until the flavors come together and the vegetables are tender, but not mushy. To add a hearty element to the dish, whole wheat pasta is stirred in at the end and allowed to drink in some of the broth. You may want to watch the pot closely at this point, the pasta absorbs quite a bit, so you may need to add a bit more stock if you want the soup more loose.
When I make this again, I might think about adding a good fistful or two of fresh spinach at the end for an earthy dose to the soup. Mmmm... I think I might just have to run upstairs and sneak a couple bites from the leftovers in the fridge after just writing about it!
For a quick and simple side, I toasted up a thick slice of whole wheat bread and rubbed a fresh cut clove of garlic on it - then I added some fresh grated Asiago cheese and let it melt under the broiler for a minute.
Pasta, Sausage and Bean Soup