Spicy Pasta,Bean,and Sausage Soup

by Hilary Gauntt on November 29, 2013

So it’s the day after Thanksgiving, and every time you open the refrigerator and see that decimated turkey carcass, you know you should be making turkey soup. But if, like me, it just isn’t calling to you, I suggest tossing those bones in the trash and making this soup instead! You can use garbanzo or any other white beans (Great Northern  or Cannelli are good) and turkey sausage works fine if you want to lighten it up a bit.  It’s hearty and spicy and just what you need on a rainy weekend.

2 15- to 16- ounce cans garbanzo or other white beans

2 Tbs. olive oil

1 pound Italian hot sausages, casings removed

4 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary

2 large garlic cloves, chopped (I used more)

1/4 tsp. dried crushed red pepper

1/4 cup tomato paste

5 cups canned low-salt chicken broth

1 cup orecchiette or other small pasta

1 1/2 cups grated Romano or Parmesan  cheese


Strain liquid from canned beans into a blender.  Add one cup beans and puree until smooth.  Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat.  Add the sausages, rosemary, garlic, and crushed red pepper.  Saute until sausages are cooked through, breaking up with a fork, about 8 minutes.  Mix in tomato paste.  Add the bean puree, remaining beans, broth and pasta.  Simmer until the pasta is tender and the mixture is thick, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes.  Mix in 1/4 cup of cheese.  Season with salt and pepper. Serve, passing remaining 1 1/4 cups of grated cheese.  Serves 4 to 6.

Note: I added a 15 oz. can of chopped tomatoes with their juice to add a bit of color and more liquid.  This soup becomes quite thick upon standing and you may need to add water or broth.  Stirring in some spinach right before serving would make this a complete meal.  If you can only find sweet sausages, a good dose of cayenne pepper will give it the spiciness you’re looking for. I only strained a little of the bean liquid into the blender and poured the rest out (not really sure what’s in that).



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