Tuscan Sausage Soup with Shell Pasta, Spinach & White Beans

by feastonthecheap on April 23, 2012

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

Ingredients:
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

Directions:
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.



{ 69 comments… read them below or add one }

Liz April 23, 2012 at 12:05 pm

Oh, this looks outstanding! A hearty soup…that would be perfect for our dinner tonight on this chilly spring day :)

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Kim - Liv Life April 23, 2012 at 12:06 pm

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!

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Kate April 23, 2012 at 12:08 pm

This sounds heavenly! What a great SRC selection.

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Teri @ The Freshman Cook April 23, 2012 at 12:14 pm

Yum! This sounds and looks delicious. I love everything in it!

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chelsy e. April 23, 2012 at 12:43 pm

Love that you use the sweet italian sausage in this recipe. Your photos are amazing, makes me want to eat this whole thing right through the screen!

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cindy April 23, 2012 at 12:54 pm

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.

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Danielle April 23, 2012 at 1:35 pm

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!).

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Jennifer @ Mother Thyme April 23, 2012 at 1:45 pm

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!

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Veronica Gantley April 23, 2012 at 2:32 pm

I love Soup and this is a great spin on it. Wonderful choice for SRC!

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{Adventuresindinner} April 23, 2012 at 2:40 pm

This looks terrific especially today when our weather is anything but springlike C:

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Aly ~ Cooking In Stilettos April 23, 2012 at 6:27 pm

This looks so comforting – perfect for this chilly rainy dreary night here in Philly!

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Gloria April 23, 2012 at 8:27 pm

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!

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Krista April 23, 2012 at 11:31 pm

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!

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Rhonda April 23, 2012 at 11:31 pm

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.

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Kirstin April 23, 2012 at 11:34 pm

YUM!!!!! Marking this for sure!

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Amanda @ Once Upon a Recipe April 24, 2012 at 1:17 am

This looks divine! And so comforting too! I might have to cut the recipe in half, or I will be eating it for weeks! I do enjoy the idea of freezing some for later though…

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Mandy - The Complete Cook Book April 24, 2012 at 5:18 am

I absolutely agree that different shape pastas taste different.
This soup is just what I need with the horrible cold weather we are experiencing at the moment.
Best of luck with your move.
:-) Mandy

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Elle April 24, 2012 at 9:23 am

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.

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Sarah April 24, 2012 at 4:44 pm

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!!

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Eliot April 24, 2012 at 10:01 pm

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! :)

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Sandra - The Foodie Affair April 25, 2012 at 12:15 am

I’m making this so I can eat it for lunch during my work week! Looks so good!!

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Baker Street April 25, 2012 at 2:39 am

this looks incredible. pinning right away.

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Maureen @ Orgasmic Chef April 25, 2012 at 3:43 am

Wow, this looks SO good! I repinned An’s pin! :)

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Eny November 19, 2012 at 12:23 pm

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.

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Jeanette April 25, 2012 at 7:59 am

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.

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Rachel @ The Avid Appetite April 25, 2012 at 11:55 am

This is lovely! I think that there are definitely some soup days left before the warm weather hits!

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Mom Foodie April 25, 2012 at 11:56 am

You just can’t go wrong with classic Italian like this :)

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Jen @ The Scrumptious Pumpkin April 25, 2012 at 12:24 pm

I feel the same about pasta shapes tasting differently – why do I love angel hair pasta so much more than farfalle? I have no idea… :) This looks delicious!

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Lubna Karim April 25, 2012 at 11:14 pm

Love the recipe….looks extremely comforting and yum…

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Kateiscooking April 26, 2012 at 4:57 pm

Oh, that looks wonderful! I love making soups that make a lot of servings for a small amount of effort!!

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Sarah Stein August 8, 2012 at 11:13 am

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.

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Brenda August 14, 2012 at 5:54 pm

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!

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Carolyn August 23, 2012 at 6:51 pm

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!

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feastonthecheap August 23, 2012 at 9:47 pm

So glad you found us, Carolyn!

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Holly September 15, 2012 at 9:45 am

Looks yummy. Does this freeze well? Thanks!

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feastonthecheap September 15, 2012 at 10:00 am

It does! I have a few quarts in my own freezer

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Valerie September 17, 2012 at 12:02 pm

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?

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feastonthecheap September 17, 2012 at 12:50 pm

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!

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Marci September 18, 2012 at 1:14 pm

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 :)

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feastonthecheap September 18, 2012 at 4:03 pm

That is so funny, Marci! So glad you sorted it out and for making us smile. Let us know how you like the soup!

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Grace September 28, 2012 at 10:53 am

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?

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feastonthecheap September 28, 2012 at 12:20 pm

Step 3, sorry that wasn’t clearer in the original instrux!

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cynthia October 2, 2012 at 8:47 pm

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!

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Stacy October 10, 2012 at 5:14 pm

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

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Dana October 13, 2012 at 7:05 pm

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! :)

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Grace October 16, 2012 at 7:59 pm

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!

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Jamie November 26, 2012 at 10:00 pm

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.

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Stephanie January 6, 2013 at 11:11 pm

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.

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Stephanie January 13, 2013 at 10:31 am

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!

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michaela January 13, 2013 at 9:18 pm

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

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Robin January 17, 2013 at 9:40 pm

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!

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Kathleen January 18, 2013 at 3:14 pm

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!

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joanne January 24, 2013 at 8:35 pm

This was super easy to make and really yummy! A great hearty soup for a cold day!!!

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Beth Rainville February 22, 2013 at 9:21 pm

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

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Maleea March March 2, 2013 at 8:57 pm

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!

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Brittany March 16, 2013 at 9:53 pm

Should the sausage be drained before adding the other ingredients?

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feastonthecheap March 17, 2013 at 10:04 am

I kept a little bit in the pan for flavor, but if there’s an excess, drain some of it off.

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Brittany March 20, 2013 at 1:15 pm

Thank u! Making this tonight.

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Vera April 25, 2013 at 12:19 pm

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

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Nicole D. October 7, 2013 at 10:38 pm

This was outstanding!! Simple and the family loved it!! Thanks for making me look like a pro in the kitchen. :)

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Katie October 16, 2013 at 7:50 pm

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.

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Katy October 23, 2013 at 6:00 pm

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.

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Hannah November 2, 2013 at 3:21 pm

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.

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Stephanie November 24, 2013 at 2:54 pm

That time of year when we start breaking out this recipe again! We LOVE it! Thanks again!

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Katie January 5, 2014 at 8:37 pm

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?

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feastonthecheap January 6, 2014 at 9:15 am

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.

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kelsey January 17, 2014 at 7:50 pm

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 :)

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Cathy February 6, 2014 at 7:46 pm

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!

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Erin Myone February 16, 2014 at 6:57 pm

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!

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