A sale on Italian Sausage started it all. Not long ago, I was flipping through my phone for dinner ideas. I probably do that about seventeen times a day. That time I ran into a white bean and spinach soup recipe and thought it sounded good.
Beans are a nutritional workhorse and cheap to boot. And my two favorite things about making soup are 1.) Only one pot to wash and 2.) Cook once, eat twice because soup's always better the next day!
A couple of weeks later I was zipping through a neighborhood grocery store for a few items and spotted a great deal on Italian sausage. A light bulb went off in my head! No wonder. My head is always dancing with thoughts of food, pictures of food, descriptions of food, and recipe ideas.
Wait! How about a marriage of Italian sausage, beans, spinach, and Parmesan? Bellisimo! I couldn't wait to scurry home and give it a try.
You've come to the right place! Let's run to the store. Grab a package of bulk Italian sausage and head to the canned goods aisle for a can of petite diced tomatoes and some white beans! I prefer navy beans because they're smaller, but Great Northern Beans or other white beans will work just fine.
Make a quick visit to the produce section and grab a bag of fresh spinach. If you don't have a sweet onion or garlic at home, you'll need those too!
Next, stop in the soup aisle! Pick up some Better Than Bouillon chicken base and a package of Knorr Vegetarian Vegetable Bouillon cubes. Please make these items a staple in your pantry! They're fabulous products and both add incredible flavor to your homemade soups!
A topping of grated Parmesan is totally up to you but skipping it is like a kiss without a hug. And I'm talking grated Parmesan here and not the yucky powdered kind like at the pizza place. You know you want it. Last stop, the cheese section!
Plop that sausage in a tall stockpot. Brown it a bit and break it up. When it loses its pinkness, add the onion and garlic. Let that all saute a bit until the onions get soft and fragrant.
Once the onion and garlic get soft and fragrant and the sausage gets a little tinge of brown, drain, and rinse the beans and add them to the pot. Next, dump in the can of un-drained petite diced tomatoes for more color and Mediterranean flavor.
Finally, add the water along with the chicken base, pepper, and vegetable bouillon cubes. Simmer for a few minutes and stir to make sure the base and the bouillon are dissolved completely.
Chop the spinach coarsely and add to the soup for the last five minutes, just long enough for it to wilt and get tender. What great color it adds!
That's it! Less than 30 minutes after dropping your grocery bags on the counter, ladle yourself a steaming bowl of soup, top it with a handful of grated Parmesan and sit down to enjoy it.
Garlic toast is a perfect accompaniment to this yummy soup! While you've got the oven on, why not stir up a batch of busy day lemon bars for dessert?! You don't even need to get out your mixer!!
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