As I mentioned recently, I have definitely been on a soup kick lately.  When my friends and I got together for our baking day last week, my friend Sarah brought a pot of this soup for us to have for lunch.  It was fantastic!  I asked her what recipe she used and it turned out to be this one, a recipe I have had bookmarked to try for months.  That was the push I needed to finally try it myself.  This is a wonderfully hearty soup, perfect for the awful cold weather and snowy days we have been having lately.  It is similar to a vegetable soup, but the addition of Italian sausage and pasta puts it over the top – YUM!  The only issue I had with this was that it really pushed the limits of my 5-quart Dutch oven.  I was still able to stir the soup, but only very carefully.  Obviously, this makes a huge quantity.  I considered halving it, but what am I going to do with leftover half-cans of beans?  I decided to just make the full batch and freeze half for my brother Steven, since I always worry about what he is eating now that he has his own place.   I like to try to help him get better meals than the average college student :)

  • Yield 6-8 servings


2 tbsp. butter, divided
1 (20 oz.) package sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
1/2 large (or 1 medium) onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 carrots, thinly sliced
4 stalks celery, thinly sliced
1 (28 oz.) can diced tomatoes
1 can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can cannelini beans, drained and rinsed
48-64 oz. reduced-sodium beef broth (depending on how much liquid you would like)
1 (28 oz.) can tomato sauce
2 tsp. dried parsley
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. salt
4 oz. small dry pasta (such as ditalini)


  • 01

    Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a Dutch oven or large stockpot over medium-high heat.  Add the sausage to the pot and brown, crumbling as it cooks.  Once the sausage is browned, remove it from the pot with a slotted spoon and discard any excess grease.

  • 02

    Melt the remaining tablespoon of butter in the pot.  Add the onion, garlic, carrot and celery, and saute over medium heat until vegetables are soft, 8-10 minutes.  Return the sausage to the pot, add the can of diced tomatoes with juices, stir briefly, and simmer for 10 minutes.

  • 03

    Add the beans, beef broth and tomato sauce to the pot.  Add in all of the seasonings, stir well, increase the heat to high and bring to a boil.  Once boiling, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer at least 30 minutes.

  • 04

    Add the dry pasta and continue to simmer on low for another 30 minutes.  Serve.