The weather just turned cold here in New England, the kind that leaves you with a chill, finding sweaters and blankets to pull around your shoulders, and craving all the hot drinks and soups and stews. I find that hearty soups are loved by all (especially if I serve it with crusty bread) and are beloved by the child on pots on pans since there is only one pot to clean.
And anything that starts with bacon and sausage is bound to be a hit.
After you brown the bacon and sausage, you set it aside in a bowl. All my kids started to wander through the kitchen and pick from the bowl. One brave child even asked if they could just have a bowl of the sausage and bacon.
Then you sauté the aromatics (onions and garlic) in these bacon-y flavors, then you add the beans, potatoes and broth. The carrots get added later because once the potatoes are tender, in about 10 minutes, you scoop out half of the soup and with an immersion blender you puree the other half. This gives the soup a lovely, thick broth. (I tend to think this is the secret to really good soups in cafes and restaurants.) Then you put back in the meat, carrots, and finally the spinach.
The original recipe just uses cannelloni beans but I was craving little chunks of potatoes and I’m so glad I added them. The thickened broth picked of the flavor of the bacon and every bite was hearty, stick to your ribs delicious.
The best news? The leftovers are amazing, so definitely double this recipe! Hope you get to eat with your coziest sweater on.
Happy Eating, xoxo Katie
- 17.6 ounces (500g) Italian sausages, crumbled (I used chicken sausage)
- 4 strips bacon cut into small pieces
- 1/2 medium onion chopped
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 2 (14 fluid ounce) cans white beans (cannellini) drained
- 2-3 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1 dash Italian seasoning
- 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 2 small carrots peeled & chopped small
- 2 cups (packed) fresh baby spinach
- Salt & pepper to taste
Cut up the bacon and cook for a few minutes until it starts to brown. Then remove the sausage casings and add the meat.
Cook over medium-high heat for 10-12 minutes or until the sausage and bacon are somewhat crispy/the fat has been rendered out. Meanwhile, prep the other ingredients.
Transfer the sausage and bacon to a bowl. Leave about 2 tablespoons of fat in the pot (spoon any excess out).
Add the onion to the pot and sauté it for 3-5 minutes or until it’s softened and starting to lightly brown.
Stir in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
Add the beans, potato chicken broth, Italian seasoning, and rosemary. Give it a good stir and scrape up any brown bits off the bottom of the pot. Simmer for 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
Take the pot off the stove. Remove half of the beans and potatoes. Using an immersion/stick blender, purée the soup. The soup will thicken a bit more as it cooks, but the thickness/texture will be similar to what it is after you do this part, so keep that in mind. If you don’t have a stick blender, transfer a ladle or two of beans to a regular blender, or use a potato masher or fork for a more rustic texture.
Return the sausage and bacon to the pot and add in the chopped carrots as well. Increase the heat to high. Once the soup starts to boil, cover the pot with the lid slightly ajar and reduce the heat so it’s simmering. Cook for 15-20 minutes or until the carrots have softened and the soup has thickened up a bit more.
Stir in the spinach and let it wilt for a minute or two. Taste and season with salt & pepper as needed. Serve immediately.