RECIPE

Minestrone Soup with Sweet Sausage

This soup uses 8 cups of the poaching liquid from the foundation recipe, but if you don’t have enough, just supplement with store-bought chicken stock. Suggested side: Ciabatta rolls.

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons EVOO
  • 3/4 cup broken spaghetti or linguine
  • 1 pound sweet Italian sausage, bulk or links, casings removed
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 bulb fennel, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced or chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, drained
  • 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained
  • 8 cups poaching liquid or store-bought chicken stock
  • 2 plum tomatoes
  • Leaves from a few sprigs fresh rosemary, chopped
  • Leaves from a few sprigs fresh thyme, chopped
  • Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, for serving

Preparation

In a soup pot, heat 1 tablespoon of the EVOO (1 turn of the pan) over medium heat. Add the pasta and toast until deep golden, nutty, and fragrant. Remove and set aside.

Make-ahead: Transfer the toasted pasta to a plastic container to cool. Cover.

Add the remaining 2 tablespoons EVOO (2 turns of the pan) and increase the heat a bit. Add the sausage and cook, breaking it into crumbles as it browns, then transfer to a plate. Add the carrot, fennel, garlic, and onion, and season with salt and pepper. Cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Return the sausage to the pot and add the beans and poaching liquid.

On the large holes of a box grater, grate the tomatoes into the soup. Add the rosemary and thyme and season with salt and pepper. Simmer the soup to combine the flavors.

Make-ahead: Cool and refrigerate.

Night of: Return the soup to room temp before bringing to a boil over medium heat.

Stir the toasted pasta into the boiling soup and cook to al dente.

Ladle the soup into shallow bowls and top with cheese.

What's Fresh from @RachaelRay

Rachael Ray