Italian Sausage & Pasta Soup

One night, many years ago, my friend made one of the best soups I’ve had. She gave me the recipe, but over the years, I have forgotten where it went, and after an hour long attempt to find it, I gave up and decided to just make my own soup. This was probably the best idea because I think this soup turned out better than the original would have. I mean, even my kids scarfed it down and they aren’t big soup eaters.

What you’ll need to make this delicious soup:

  • 1 pack of Italian sausage, I used Italian chicken sausage links and squeezed the meat from the casings.
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 regular size can of diced tomatoes.
  • 2 tsp. minced garlic (more or less depending on your taste preference)
  • Salt & pepper
  • Fresh basil, 5 – 6 leaves, torn into smaller pieces
  • Fresh spinach, a handful, torn/chopped into smaller pieces (feel free to add more if you want more)
  • 1/2 cup of milk or cream
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • Pasta of your choice. I picked up some from Trader Joes that are spoon-shaped. They are really good and add a nice bite.

In a pan, cook up the sausage until cooked through. While that’s going, begin bringing the broth to a boil in a large pot. Add the tomatoes, garlic, salt, pepper, spinach, and basil to the pot and stir.

Once the sausage is cooked through, add it to the pot as well. Then add the milk and cheese.

Now comes the tricky part, at least for me. The pasta. I have to admit that anytime I’ve made a soup that contains pasta, the pasta soaks up the liquid. Every time. It’s just what pasta does. I can’t figure out how those cans of soup with pasta keep the pasta from soaking up all the liquid.

A quick tip I learned. If you’re sensitive to the acidity in the tomatoes, add some baking soda, a little at a time. Stir it in well, and let it simmer for a few minutes to let the baking soda flavor dissipate. I find that once the bubbles are gone, it’s usually good. Hey, you also get to have some fun flashbacks to those volcanos we all made in school. #science

With that being said, it’s time to add the pasta. You can either boil it separately and just add it to the soup as you dish it up, or, you can be like me and just stick it in the soup you’ve been cooking up. I personally like this method because the pasta cooks in all those yummy flavors you’ve been creating. So, go ahead and pick a method and then do it.

Let me just tell you, if you do put the pasta into the soup to cook, you may end up with very little liquid. I think that’s part of what makes this soup so delicious. If you want more liquid, just go ahead and add more broth.

Once your pasta is cooked, dish up a bowl, throw some crackers on top, and dig in!

I hope you enjoy the soup as much as my family did!