This soup brings back memories from college. My sorority's house cook used to cook this up and serve it in bread bowls. Comfort food at its best!
The recipe below was adapted from Sweet Savory Southern. It's simmering away on my stove as I type this. The house smells divine! We've been experiencing some fall-like weather the past few days, so I can't wait to curl up with a bowl of this and some garlic bread.
This recipe makes a gigantic batch of soup! Either be prepared to freeze part of it or halve the recipe. If you do freeze the soup, make sure you let it thaw completely in the refrigerator prior to reheating, or the pasta will turn to mush!
For a vegetarian version, skip the sausage and add more beans and use vegetable broth instead of beef broth.
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 16 oz. pkg. sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
½ large (or 1 medium) onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 carrots, thinly sliced
4 stalks celery, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon salt
28 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can white cannelini beans, drained and rinsed
64 oz. beef broth
28 oz. can tomato sauce
2 tsp. dried parsley (or 1 tbsp. fresh parsley)
1/2 tsp. dried basil (or 1 tsp. fresh basil)
4 oz. small dry pasta
Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large stockpot over medium high heat, and brown the sausage, crumbling it as it cooks. Once brown, remove sausage from pot with a slotted spoon.
In the same pot, add the onion, garlic, carrot, celery and salt, and saute over medium heat until vegetables are soft, about 8 minutes. Add sausage back to the pot and the can of diced tomatoes (do not drain), stir briefly, and simmer for 10 minutes.
Stir in the beans, and add the beef broth and tomato sauce. Add in all of the seasonings, stir well, turn the heat to high and bring the soup to a boil. Once it boils, turn down to low heat, cover, and simmer for at least 30 minutes.
Add the dry pasta and continue to simmer on low for another 30 minutes.