Although chicken or turkey sausage is sometimes hard to find at your local supermarket, it is well worth the hunt to make this spinach and white bean soup.
Neither one of these sausages imparts too much oil and the broth stays lighter while the veggies thicken it naturally. Feel free to use any mild Italian sausage if you can’t find the poultry variety.
This thick, hearty soup is great in the wintertime but we like it year-round! Make a big pot and you’ll have lunch all week. Don’t forgot to serve some fluffy pumpkin cloverleaf rolls with it.
Serve this soup recipe in a fancy homemade bread bowl!
Chicken sausage and white bean soup recipe
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 lb Italian chicken sausage, mild, sliced into 1" pieces
- 2 in slices bacon, chopped, 1" pieces to boost flavor
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 carrots, peeled and diced
- 2 celery stalks, diced
- 1 cup leeks, cleaned, sliced, white and light green part only
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
- 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 cup San Marzano puréed tomatoes, canned
- 30 oz can navy beans, or northern beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 cups spinach, or whole baby spinach leaves, roughly chopped, fresh,
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Parmesan cheese, shaved, for garnish
- Heat olive oil over medium high heat until it shimmers. Carefully add sausage and cook until browned on first side—approximately 3–4 minutes. But don’t be tempted to mess with it—you want a nice crust to form on the bottom!
- Turn sausage pieces over and create a little well in the middle of the pan then add bacon. Stir the bacon so it browns on all sides.
- Quickly add garlic, letting it cook for only 30 seconds then immediately add carrots, celery and leeks. Sauté about 6–8 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
- Add chili powder and Italian seasoning then stir to combine. Add ¼ cup of the chicken broth then scrape up any brown bits that have stuck to the bottom of the pan (the fond). Add remaining broth, tomato sauce, beans and bay leaf.
- Bring soup to a boil then reduce heat to medium low. Simmer, uncovered, for approximately 20–25 minutes, stirring often.
- Remove bay leaf. Ladle out 2 cups of the soup, avoiding any of the sausage or bacon, and puree the ingredients in a blender until smooth. Return pureed liquid to the soup to thicken.
- Stir in chopped spinach then cook an additional 5 minutes before seasoning to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle into soup bowls and top with plenty of Parmesan cheese. Enjoy.
Chicken sausage is a great way to reduce the fat without killing flavor!