This simple and satisfying soup is packed with Italian sausage, hearty beans, and plenty of fresh veggies to create a healthy meal-in-a-pot. This post is written in partnership with the Michigan Department of Healthy & Human Services. Flu season is among us! It’s important to get your flu shot as soon as possible to decrease your risk of getting/spreading it. Read on for more information!
Soup is probably my number one comfort food, aside from my Aunt’s Middle Eastern specialties. Warm, satisfying comfort in a bowl – it’s the perfect way to pack in tons of vitamins and nutrients in order to fight germs that may cause the flu this winter. However, the flu vaccination has shown in several studies to reduce the severity of symptoms should one get sick.
In fact, the flu vaccination has shown that it reduces the risk of having to go to the doctor due to the flu by 40 to 60 percent. Additionally, the vaccine can save a child’s life. Being a concerned mother, it is important to me to get my whole family vaccinated – especially this year. In addition, I strive to serve a wide variety of nutrient-packed meals throughout the colder months. Therefore, recipes like my Middle Eastern Lemony Chicken Soup with Greens, Tex-Mex inspired Sweet and Smoky Turkey Chili, or Asian 5 Minute Wonton Soup make serving nutrient-packed meals a breeze.
While my husband knows that Vaccines are safe, effective and help protect everyone, he believes that all comfort food should be Italian. So, I decided to make a pasta-free version of Minestrone. The fennel and garlic in the sausage adds tons of flavor to the vegetables and beans without requiring you to add many other spices. Of course, I couldn’t stop myself from adding more fresh garlic and a pinch of chili flakes. However, you could get away with skipping those added ingredients.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Yes, any type of sausage will work for this recipe. However, keep in mind that traditional pork varieties will likely increase the calorie content of this dish.
First, rinse off your beans to remove any lingering dirt. Then, soak the beans in 3X their volume of cold water at least six hours or up to overnight before use.
This recipe can be kept up to 3 days in the refrigerator. Or, store it in your freezer for up to 3 months.
So, are you ready for the winter? Most importantly, remember to discuss the importance of getting the flu vaccine with your family members! If you need help getting started, Michigan.gov has provided a great resource for talking points, facts and statistics, and more. Then, don’t forget to keep your pantry stocked with high quality ingredients such as beans and canned tomatoes. Then, you can easily create hearty, nutritious meals such as this Italian Sausage and Bean Soup in a pinch.
Your spoon is waiting.
Italian Sausage and Bean Soup
- 1 lb Italian turkey sausage
- 1 large onion diced
- 3 carrots diced
- 4 celery stalks diced
- 4 cloves garlic grated
- 1 teaspoon chili flakes
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 lb dried beans soaked overnight or two cans any bean
- 8 cups chicken broth
- 32 oz can diced tomatoes
- chopped parsley optional garnish
- parmesan cheese optional garnish
- Heat a large Dutch oven or soup pot over medium-high heat and spray with cooking spray. Remove sausage from casings and add to pan. Cook until browned, 8-9 minutes, using a wooden spoon to break down into bite-sized pieces. Remove from pan and set aside.
- In the same pan, add diced onion, carrots and celery. Add a pinch of salt and pepper to get the juices released from the veggies and cook until tender, about 7-8 minutes. Add garlic, chili flakes and bay leaf. Cook for 30 seconds to release flavors then add beans, cooked sausage, broth and diced tomatoes.
- Bring pot to a boil then reduce heat to low. Simmer for 30 minutes or until beans are tender.
- Serve with chopped parsley and parmesan.