White Bean and Sausage Soup

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Whip up a bowl of this White Bean and Sausage Soup and have a broth-based meal full of meats and veggies that is hearty as much as it is comforting.

White Bean and Sausage Soup

This recipe is the result of a family day out. It was winter. The kids wanted to spend the day at the local park where there are hills for tobogganing and a public skating rink. It was early December so the novelty of the cold and the snow had yet to wear off. So my husband and I figured, why not?

We all had a great time but we soon learned that, no matter how fresh and new the winter weather is, it can still be really cold! Not to mention we all took turns being thrown from our sleds and landing in the snow. We also realized (too late) that our skates needed sharpening and consequently, spent almost as much time lying on the ice as skating on it.

When we got home, I knew I needed to cook up something that was not only going to warm us up but reinvigorate us after a long day of exercise. This recipe checks those boxes. Soup is the official dish of winter (if it isn’t, it should be!) and will bring life back to your frozen bodies in no time. All the ingredients, including white beans, sausage, bacon, and onions, means this soup isn’t meant to be an appetizer; it’s the entire meal. Everyone, after finishing, wanted more but were too full for seconds!

The Soup is Too Salty. Where Did I Go Wrong?

You may not have done anything wrong. You probably seasoned with salt and pepper like you would any other soup, overlooking the amount of sodium the sausage and bacon naturally bring to the dish. If you took this into account and still find it on the salty side then you could try replacing some of the broth in the soup with water or more of the low-sodium broth, you could balance out the saltiness with acidity in the form of lemon juice or vinegar, you could add a starch like potatoes, which will absorb some of the salt (adjust cooking time accordingly), or even add a bit of sweetness with a dash of sugar or simple syrup. Just administer this in very small amounts; too much and your soup will resemble a dessert.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. Italian sausage (casings removed)
  • 4 strips of bacon (chopped)
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 (14 oz.) cans cannellini (a.k.a. white kidney) beans, drained and rinsed
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
  • 2 small carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 cups fresh baby spinach, roughly chopped
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
White Bean and Sausage Soup

How to Make White Bean and Sausage Soup

Step 1: In a large soup pot, crumble the Italian sausage. Add the bacon pieces. Cook over MED-HIGH heat until the sausage is fully cooked and the bacon is crispy, about 15 minutes. As they sizzle away, chop your veggies.

White Bean and Sausage Soup

Step 2: Remove the sausage and bacon with a slotted spoon, setting them aside on a plate. In the remaining fat, sauté the onion until translucent and just starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another 30 seconds, until fragrant. Stir in the drained white kidney beans, chicken broth, Italian seasoning, and dried rosemary.

White Bean and Sausage Soup

Step 3: Remove the pot from the heat. With an immersion blender, partially purée the soup to thicken it while leaving some beans whole for texture.

White Bean and Sausage Soup

Step 4: Return the sausage and bacon to the pot, add the diced carrots, and bring the soup to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover with the lid slightly ajar. Let it cook for about 20 minutes, or until the carrots are tender.

White Bean and Sausage Soup

Step 5: Stir in the spinach. Season the soup with salt and pepper.

White Bean and Sausage Soup

FAQs & Tips

How do I store the soup?

Let it cool completely then pour it into an airtight container. Depending on how much I’ve made (and how much available space I have in the fridge), I just put the entire pot in there. It will be good for up to 4 days. If I plan on having it around longer, I divide it up into smaller containers and store them in the freezer for up to 3 months. When I know I’m going to eat it again, I’ll let a serving thaw in the fridge overnight then warm it up in the microwave or on the stove.

I can’t find cannellini beans; which other beans do you recommend?

Regular kidney beans will do, though they are larger and firmer than the white variety. You can also use black beans, garbanzo beans (i.e., chickpeas), or lentils. Lentils are a good option if you are watching your carbs. The others have their own distinct taste and texture so your soup won’t turn out exactly as intended but should still taste delicious.

Can I make this a creamier soup?

First, spend a bit more time blending up the ingredients. Then add heavy cream or half ‘n’ half near the end of the cooking process. You can also call upon yogurt, sour cream, and/or cream cheese. Elsewhere I listed potatoes as a good option for de-salting your soup; well, those potatoes can also help thicken it up. One last option is to create a roux by slowly mixing butter and flour together in a separate pan. A good roux, though, takes time, so only go this route when you’ve got the time to do the roux properly.

What if I don’t have an immersion blender?

If you don’t have an immersion blender you can simply mash some of the beans with a potato masher or fork.

What are those tasty browned bits?

Technically called fond, that’s just residual bacon and sausage that was browned due to its placement at the bottom of the pot. To take advantage of its more intense flavor, we “deglaze”, which is a cooking technique that involves heating up a liquid—wine, broth, vinegar, or even water—in the pot and scraping the fond up. In this recipe, we rely on the broth to help loosen things up.

What is in Italian seasoning?

You will usually find oregano, thyme, basil, rosemary, sage, marjoram, onion powder, and garlic powder in the Italian seasoning you can buy at the store. To confirm, check the ingredients list on the package. Yes, you can make your own, though I find, for the sake of convenience, I’d rather just buy it pre-mixed.

White Bean and Sausage Soup

Serving Suggestions

You can’t have soup without a loaf of bread. I’ll leave it to you whether you tear it up and add it to your soup or just dip a slice and eat as you go. Crackers are also an option (but you HAVE to crumble them up and drop them in the soup!). Assuming you don’t mind a salty broth, you can add grated Parmesan cheese. As for sides, like I said earlier, this soup is hearty, so I’m not sure you need any. If you feel the need to add one, I recommend Baked Potatoes with Garlic Herb Sour Cream. The soup doesn’t have any spuds so there won’t be any overlap. And there’s a reason why “Soup and Sandwich” is a lunch staple at most restaurants. The site has a lot of options but I’m partial to my Perfect Grilled Cheese Sandwich.

White Bean and Sausage Soup
White Bean and Sausage Soup

White Bean and Sausage Soup

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Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Course Soup
Cuisine American, Italian
Servings 8
Calories 233 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 lb. Italian sausage casings removed
  • 4 strips of bacon cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 medium onion diced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 4 (14 oz.) cans cannellini beans drained and rinsed
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
  • 2 small carrots peeled and diced
  • 2 cups fresh baby spinach roughly chopped
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • In a large soup pot, crumble the Italian sausage. Add the bacon pieces. Cook over MED-HIGH heat until the sausage is fully cooked and the bacon is crispy, about 15 minutes. As they sizzle away, chop your veggies.
  • Remove the sausage and bacon with a slotted spoon, setting them aside on a plate. In the remaining fat, sauté the onion until translucent and just starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another 30 seconds, until fragrant. Stir in the drained white kidney beans, chicken broth, Italian seasoning, and dried rosemary.
  • Remove the pot from the heat. With an immersion blender, partially purée the soup to thicken it while leaving some beans whole for texture. If you don’t have an immersion blender you can simply mash some of the beans with a potato masher or fork.
  • Return the sausage and bacon to the pot, add the diced carrots, and bring the soup to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover with the lid slightly ajar. Let it cook for about 20 minutes, or until the carrots are tender.
  • Stir in the spinach. Season the soup with salt and pepper to taste although the sausage and bacon bring quite a bit of salt, so adjust accordingly.

Nutrition

Calories: 233kcalCarbohydrates: 5gProtein: 11gFat: 19gSaturated Fat: 7gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 44mgSodium: 468mgPotassium: 354mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 3254IUVitamin C: 5mgCalcium: 33mgIron: 1mg
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