1 lb Italian ground pork sausage
1 cup chopped onions
1 large carrot, peeled, cut into quarters lengthwise & into 1/4-inch slices (about 1 cup)
1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
6 cups reduced sodium chicken broth (from two 32-oz cartons)
1 can (19 oz) cannellini beans, drained, rinsed
1 can (28 oz) fire roasted diced tomatoes, undrained
2 tsp chopped fresh oregano
1 bay leaf
3/4 cup (3 oz) small ring pasta, such as ditalini
3 cups baby spinach, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup plain panko crispy bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Heat 5-quart Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add sausage, onions and carrot; cook 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to break up sausage, until sausage is no longer pink. Stir in garlic and pepper flakes; cook 1 to 2 minutes or until garlic is fragrant.
- Stir in broth, beans, tomatoes, oregano and bay leaf. Heat to boiling; reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer uncovered 10 minutes. Add pasta; simmer 8 to 9 minutes or until pasta is tender. Remove bay leaf, and discard.
- Stir in spinach; cover and remove from heat. Let stand 5 minutes; stir.
- Meanwhile, in 8-inch nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium heat Add bread crumbs; cook and stir 2 to 3 minutes or until toasted and golden brown. Remove from heat.
- Divide soup among serving bowls; garnish each with cheese and toasted bread crumbs.
Makes about 8 servings. Takes 35 minutes for prep and 60 minutes to cook. Soup is always great on a cold day with a fire and glass of wine.