There is little in life that can bring instant comfort.
Hugs from Mom, a tiny hand in yours, a call from a friend far away.
I know, what a cliché.
But I swear there is something about that big bowl in front of you, steam pillowing up, ingredients all perfectly married and savory, that makes you just relax and feel good.
This soup is a house soup. You make it how your family likes it. Omit, add, switch anything up and you really cannot go wrong.
This recipe makes A LOT. I did that on purpose so you can freeze half, send to a friend who needs it, eat every day forever, or invite your neighbors over.
Veggie, Sausage, and White Bean Soup
Imperfect Polish 2017
1 1/2 cups ditalini pasta or other small shape (can be omitted if grain free)
2 lbs sausage, casings removed (My kids like sweet Italian, but use any variety you like)
2 large carrots, diced
4 celery ribs, diced
1 large or two small onions, diced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup dry white wine
15 oz canned cannellini beans or any you like, drained and rinsed
28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 tablespoon tomato paste
8 cups chicken stock
2 teaspoons dried oregano
optional: 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
optional if you have it: Parmesan rind (some stores sell them or just cut off the one you have)
to serve: kale (optional), grated parmesan
Cook pasta according to the box instructions subtracting two minutes from the cooking time. Drain, rinse with cool water and set aside.
Meanwhile, place a large pot medium high heat. Add two glugs of olive oil, then the sausage. Brown and cook the sausage until cooked through, breaking up into small pieces as you go. When done, turn off heat, remove sausage from pot and place in a bowl.
Turn heat back up to medium under pot and add in carrots, celery, and onion. Sauté until onions start turning translucent and carrots jut begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add wine and scrap the bottom of the pot to get all those good bits. Simmer until wine is reduced by about half, about 3-5 minutes.
Add in beans, tomatoes, tomato paste, stock, oregano, crushed red pepper/parmesan rind if you are using either of them. Season with 2 teaspoons of salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper. Stir to combine well, turn up heat to high and bring to boil. Then lower heat to low and simmer covered for 30 minutes.
Turn off heat and skim some of the oil/fat from the top of the soup if you want to lighten it up a bit. Stir in the pasta if using.
Then taste soup for seasoning and add salt and pepper if needed.
To serve, ladle in bowls and place a few leaves of greens in each bowl to wilt, then pile on the grate parmesan.