Spinach Sausage & Pasta Soup

Yesterday was one of those cold rainy days when a hot bowl of soup is just the thing.  OK, don’t mind if I do.  The recipe for this soup was published in the Washington Post a few weeks back.  I love it because in addition to being hearty, healthy and delicious, it is tremendously easy to put together. This makes it a great last-minute weeknight dinner on a damp day.

Here are the ingredients needed to make 8-10 servings:

  • 1 pound turkey or chicken sausage, without casings
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 large cloves garlic
  • 28 ounces canned whole peeled tomatoes, drained
  • 4 cups water
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 8 ounces dried farfalle pasta
  • 8 ounces baby spinach leaves
  • 15 ounces cannellini beans
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, for serving


Pinch pieces of the sausage and place in a stockpot over medium-high heat.

Cook the sausage, stirring to break up large clumps, until the exterior is no longer pink (it need not be fully cooked through at this point).  OK, that may be a little more than a pound.  Too much sausage?  Inconceivable!

Cut the onion into small dice to yield 1 cup.  Add the onion and press the garlic directly into the pot.

Cook for 4 minutes, stirring a few times, until just softened.

Coarsely chop the tomatoes, reserving their juices.

Add the tomatoes and their juices along with 2 cups of the water and the 4 cups of broth. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil.  Then add the pasta.

Cook for 3 minutes.  The pasta will still be firm.  Drain and rinse the beans.  Add the remaining 2 cups of water, the spinach and the beans to the pot.

Stir, then cover and cook for 5 to 8 minutes.  The spinach should be tender, the pasta should be al dente and the sausage will be cooked through.  Season with salt and pepper to taste (keeping in mind that cheese might be added).

Divide among individual wide shallow bowls.  Sprinkle with the freshly grated parmesan cheese if you know what’s good for you.  Serve hot.



  1. This could be made gluten-free by using brands of broth and sausage that didn’t have gluten in them, and substituting Tinkyada rice pasta (a brand which “holds up” very well). I think I shall make this tonight!

    • Neato! Let me know how it turns out.

      • It was FANTASTIC. I used an organic chicken broth that didn’t have gluten in it, and Tinkyada fusilli rice pasta. I had a few doubts because of the lack of spices in the recipe, and then I tasted it. WOW! This one is going on the permanent rotation! And thank you for the warning about the salt. The salt requirements definitely change with a nice tablespoon of grated parmesan, don’t they.

  2. I made it vegetarian using Morningtar Farms veggie sausage links. Yum.


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