Tuscan Sausage Soup with Shell Pasta, Spinach & White Beans

Mariel here. I happen to be one of those people that swears certain pasta shapes just taste better than others. Penne, rigatoni, cavatelli and orecchiete all top my list. Elbow macaroni and farfalle? Ehh, I could take ’em or leave ’em. I suspect it has something to do with their meager sauce-sopping abilities.

In any event, when I was assigned A Couple in the Kitchen for this month’s Secret Recipe Club, I was instantly attracted to their Tuscan Sausage Soup packed with “Conchiglie” since shell pasta rounds out my top five all-time faves on the shape list. Only after I made the soup – which is rustic, hearty and a fabulous lunch treat – did I realize the other reason I was so drawn to this dish: My mother whips up a similar Sausage, Kale and White Bean soup, which she shared on Feast a few years ago.

Oh well, it was certainly worth the repeat performance and I got a whopping 7 days of lunch out of my efforts and a full quart stowed away in the freezer, which will come in handy post-move next month. I’m also planning on making their Lavender and Blood Orange Olive Oil Shortbread, which look like the perfect springtime cookie, particularly if you’re planning a bridal or baby shower over the coming months.

This recipe makes a boatload of soup so come hungry, but it’s an absolute snap to prepare and I really didn’t change much at all, which is rare for me. Just be sure to whip out your biggest stock pot or you’ll be cooking in batches!

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Tuscan Sausage Soup
Serves 12
Via A Couple in the Kitchen

2 lbs. sweet Italian sausage – $8.00
3 carrots, peeled and chopped – $1.39
1 sweet onion, chopped – $1.03
4 cloves garlic, chopped – stock
3 quarts chicken broth – stock
2 14.5-ounce cans diced tomatoes, with juice – $3.58
2 15-ounce cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed – $1.78
1 tablespoon dried basil – stock
1-lb (16-oz) whole wheat shell pasta, uncooked – $2.29
8 ounces spinach leaves – $3.00
salt and pepper to taste – stock
Grated Parmesan cheese for topping (if desired)
Grand total assuming well-stocked kitchen: $21.07
Cost per serving: $1.75

1. Remove sausage from casings and brown over med-high heat in the bottom of your largest stockpot. Crumble the sausage as you brown it.

2. Add the carrots, onion and garlic and saute until tender and starting to turn a bit golden, about 7 minutes.

3. Add the chicken broth, tomatoes, beans, pasta and basil. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to a simmer. Cover the pot and continue cooking until pasta becomes a bit tender, about 7 minutes.

4. Stir in the spinach and cook until just wilted. Taste and season with salt and pepper, according to your preference.

5. Serve hot garnished with grated parmesan, if desired.


  1. says

    Love a Couple in the Kitchen!!! And what a wonderful choice you made with this soup. We are in the midst of a grey, dreary, drizzly week here in San Diego, and this is exactly what I’ve been looking for. Well done!

  2. says

    This looks like a great soup, perfect to share with my widow mother. I put 1 cup portions in freezer containers and she has lunch for several days! Great SRC pick!
    Your photography is beautiful.

  3. says

    What a great looking soup! I’m bookmarking this one – I would say for a chilly day but we’re having some pretty chilly weather right now, unfortunately. Either way, looks fantastic (no thanks to your mad photography skills!).

  4. Jennifer @ Mother Thyme says

    This soup looks amazing! It is snowing here today and this would be the perfect soup to enjoy today! A definite must try I look forward to making. Great addition to SRC!

  5. says

    I feel the same way about pasta shapes. Penne is my go to shape. This soup looks hearty and comforting, which is perfect for this rainy weather we’re having. Thanks for sharing!

  6. says

    That looks heavenly! I completely agree with you, some pastas do taste better than others! I’m more of an orzo fan. Oh, how I love that stuff!

  7. says

    It’s always soup season for me, looks like this recipe could easily be cut in half…but why? I agree about the shapes of certain pasta’s, some are just better than others.

  8. says

    I love different pasta shapes, too! And the best part about making soup is the leftovers. Such a budget friendly meal! This one is a soup my family would love.

  9. says

    I am obsessed with soups, and this looks nothing short of amazing. Totally agree with you on the pastas, by the way. Penne or bust!!

  10. says

    I love that spring is here and summer is in the wings, but I hate that soup weather is now over with. Alas, I will have to save this recipe for next fall! :)

    • says

      This looks gorgeous! I had a butntreut squash in the fridge today and really wanted to throw an apple in like this. I went to my fridge and for the first time in my life, had no apples. It was a tragedy.I comforted myself with normal butntreut squash soup.

  11. says

    I am bookmarking this for my next soup class series at our local senior center – sounds super hearty. I’d probably use turkey Italian sausage just to lighten it up for them. Love the whole wheat pasta in this.

  12. Sarah Stein says

    Wow! This soup was simple to make and delicious! This will he going nto our dinner and lunch rotation. I used Italian seasoning instead of Basil. Sooo glad I found this on Pinterest! Thanks for posting it.

  13. Brenda says

    Just made this soup for dinner and it is the BOMB!!!! SO easy and quick…I used great northern beans and my husband loved it!

  14. Carolyn says

    Stumbled across this recipe on my mad adventures through Pinterest. I’ve worked as a personal chef for years now and am always on the lookout for a new dish to try out (of course, I use my family as guinea pigs first!). This caught my eye because of all of the hearty textures and your wonderful photo. Tried this out tonight (with a few of my own tweaks, of course, lol) and it was divine! The only real adjustments I made is using fresh basil and tomatoes and also tossing in a bit of oregano. My family loved this, so now I just have to wait for it to get cold enough here in Florida to use this recipe for my clients! Thanks so much!

  15. Valerie says

    Does this freeze well with the pasta and spinach already added and cooked? I was thinking it might be better to freeze it before adding those last two ingredients . . . any suggestions?

    • feastonthecheap says

      That’s how I froze it and was satisfied with the outcome. But you could certainly add the pasta and spinach post-freeze and it’d definitely be more al dente!

  16. says

    I’m making this recipe tonight!! I have to tell you how dumb I am, I went shopping for the ingredients 2 days ago and I can’t tell you how long I looked for “dry basil – stock” lol it JUST not occured to me as I’m looking over the recipe what you actually meant by that. I even asked my husband if he knew what it was. haha. This is SO dumb especially considering you have “stock” written by several other ingredients, apparently that one I chose to read differently. :) I’m so happy now, it was the only thing I was missing :)

  17. Grace says

    Hello there. Thanks so much for the recipe. Maybe I’m missing something, but where in the recipe does it say to add the uncooked pasta?

  18. cynthia says

    What a delicious and healthy soup! We very much enjoyed it tonight, using fresh basil and tomatoes from our garden. Next time we might try a turkey or chicken Italian sausage to make it even leaner. Thanks for sharing such a great recipe that is easy and quick!

  19. says

    I actually like eating whole grain pasta then I do white pasta. If you cook whole grain pasta a little longer then it says to (like 15 minutes longer) then it gets as soft as white pasta and is very delicious. I am not talking about wheat pasta because it is nasty imo. It takes so long to cook and is tough. But if you make sure to get a premium brand that says whole grain on the front you are getting a healthy type of pasta that is maybe 50 cents more a box. Thats nothing to throw in to get something more healthier. So if you like white pasta, try the whole grain pasta out. I personally like the sea shell pasta myself. Its just as soft as white pasta and tastes great. I use to only eat white pasta myself up until a few years ago. I was very stubborn and said I would never get anything else. If I can make the change anyone can. Taste is whats most important to me sometimes too. I have made the same decision about brown rice

  20. Dana says

    Thanks for this delicious recipe! I found it on Pintrest, and made it last night. My whole family loved it! It was so quick and easy! Definitely will be making it again this winter! :)

  21. Grace says

    Made this tonight and used kale instead of spinach and it was DELICIOUS! I really prefer the crunchy texture and flavor of kale in this soup rather than the spinach (almost reminds me of a healthy Zuppa Toscana from Olive Garden). This made enough to pretty much feed at least 2 dozen people…I’ll have plenty of leftovers!

  22. Jamie says

    I made this recipe tonight for dinner, it is AWESOME!!!! So hearty, filling and delicious. I would recommend this to anyone. I did add some fresh minced rosemary and thyme because we like food with a lot of flavor and I was concerned this didn’t have much for spices.

  23. Stephanie says

    Great recipe! I added green beans and some cayenne pepper- we like spicy. It made a ton! I took some out for the freezer before the pasta was fully cooked. Will have plenty on hand for when we’re feeling lazy.

  24. Stephanie says

    I have made this twice already for a crowd. People love it! We freeze the extra and it’s such a nice treat on a cold night when you don’t feel like cooking. We’ve served the soup with tomato/basil/mozz paninis. Thank you for sharing!

  25. michaela says

    this is seriously delicious. my husband and his friend both gobbled it up. even my 2 year old liked it. awesome!

  26. Robin says

    This was a deliciously hearty and flavorful soup. I enjoyed it so much that I sent photos and the recipe out immediately. I did use chicken sausage and fresh basil. I also put together a baby greens salad with cucumbers, red onion, red pears, feta cheese and walnuts. I then drizzled cinnamon pear balsamic vinegar with olive oil. This dinner was restaurant quality! Yum!

  27. Kathleen says

    Once I saw the photo I couldn’t wait to make it. We all loved it, even the picky eater loved it (beans and all). The only thing I’m going to change is the size of the pasta. My shells were too big. This was fine the day I made it but the leftover soup the next day was way too thick. This soup also froze well, my husband took it for lunch several times. Thumbs up!

  28. Beth Rainville says

    Made this tonight …every one loved it…very filling. I would suggest maybe cutting recipe in half….we have enough for a week!

  29. Maleea March says

    This soup is DELICIOUS! A wonderful addition to my winter soup rotation! I even served it at our dinner club recently and got rave reviews!

  30. Vera says

    This is absolutely delicious! I was happy to see cost added to the recipe, but would really like to have some nutrition facts also.

  31. says

    found this recipe via pinterest and it’s been a big hit with my family. for my two little kids, I make bowls of just the pasta, sausage, and carrots (they’re not great soup eaters) and my husband and I eat the rest. he likes to add a little Tabasco sauce to his, I know this kind of defeats the purpose of a “Tuscan” soup, but it is really delicious.

  32. Katy says

    This soup is amazing. It’s one of those that you can just add whatever vegetables look good at the grocery store that week. I add a few bay leaves to give it extra flavor since I use low sodium ingredients.

    You have to try this.

  33. Hannah says

    I made this for dinner last night and it was amazing! I made a few adjustments such as using hot sausage and adding more veggies, but it turned out great. Very easy and quick.

  34. Katie says

    I just made this soup, and it is SUPER yummy. However, mine came out as more of a pasta dish with no liquid left. Any suggestions for how to fix that? Also, the picture looks creamy, are you supposed to mix the parmesan in? I did half the recipe. Did that make a difference?

    • feastonthecheap says

      That’s odd. Perhaps something happened when halving it. Very strange! Best way to fix this is to add more stock/broth, you’ll want to adjust seasonings though too (especially salt) since it’ll water it a down a bit.

  35. kelsey says

    the same thing happened to me, just cook pasta separate and add before serving….the pasta sucks up all the liquid especially with the leftovers. Such a great recipe! We’ve already made it several times :)

  36. Cathy says

    I made this tonight and everyone was fat and happy! Simply for preference, I used hot Italian sausage vs. sweet and I used half the pasta and it was plenty. Will make this again for sure! Thanks for sharing!

  37. says

    Oh man! This was goood! My husband and I prepared it for dinner tonight and it was just perfect for this cold weather! The best part is that there are plenty of leftovers!

  38. Jay Ray says

    I just made this after having pinned it months ago and despite not being a huge sausage fan, this was spectacular! What’s better is that my grocer sells store-made sweet Italian sausage without casing so I saved a step. The husband hadn’t yet tried this when it was already written into my cookbook – in ink. Thanks for sharing!

    • feastonthecheap says

      Hi Perla- That’s a tricky one, but you could try roasted diced red pepper: roast red peppers, skin them, finely dice them, then reduce on the stove with a bit of chicken stock. You could also simply increase the amount of carrots/onions and chicken stock by the amount of diced tomatoes that are omitted, but it would still be lacking the acidity that the tomatoes bring. I would try the roasted red pepper route. I also found this product online: http://www.nomato.com/index.htm but I’ve never tried it first hand and not sure it would work for this recipe.

  39. Melissa says

    Such a flavorful soup! Not going to lie, when I know either A) I won’t have a ton of time in the upcoming weeks or B) I feel like we’ve spent too much money on food and need to cut back, I whip up a batch of this and freeze some.


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