Italian Sausage and Bean Soup

Living East Tennessee

Whether you are safe at home, looking to clean out the fridge, or just trying to find inspiration in your pantry – a hearty soup can answer the call.

Looking in my pantry and freezer, I see most of what I need to make a pasta e fagioli inspired soup. I need to improvise a little to use what I have on hand, but the result is a delicious Italian Sausage and Bean Soup.

Italian Sausage and Bean Soup

Italian Sausage and Bean Soup

1 Tbsp olive oil
4 links mild or medium Italian sausage (about ¾ of a pound)
1 yellow onion, finely diced
1 large carrot, finely diced
1 celery stalk, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, finely diced
1 ½ tsp kosher salt
½ tsp pepper
3 cups cannellini beans* (or another white bean, but use what you have)
1 cup tomato sauce**
1 quart chicken stock
1 cup water
1 sprig rosemary
2 sprig thyme
2 dried bay leaves
2 cups short cut pasta (i.e. ditalini, elbow macaroni, small shells)
Shredded Parmesan

Instant Pot Directions:
Heat olive oil on sauté setting. Remove casing from sausage links and add to pot. Break apart as it browns. Once browned, add diced onion, carrot, celery, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Cook together for several minutes until veggies are tender and translucent.
Stir in the beans, tomato sauce, stock and water to the pot. Add the fresh and dried herbs. (Optional: Bundle the rosemary and thyme together with kitchen twine to make it easier to retrieve the stems later.)
Close and lock instant pot lid. Set on soup for 20 minutes. While instant pot is going, cook pasta on stove top according to package directions.
Use quick release on the instant pot. Stir in the cooked pasta. Serve topped with grated Parmesan.

Substitution Notes:
*For the beans, I used dried pinto beans that I cooked in the instant pot. That was all I could find in the pantry and they worked out great! Find that recipe below.
**I substituted tomato paste mixed with chicken stock for tomato sauce because I didn’t have any of that either.
Make without sausage for a traditional pasta e fagioli soup. Ground beef or chicken would work in this recipe too.
Dried herbs can be substituted for fresh – just use less.

Instant Pot Pinto Beans

1 Tbsp olive oil
4 slices pancetta, diced
1 lb dried pinto beans, rinsed
1 quart chicken stock
2 cups water
1 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp garlic powder
½ tsp dried oregano

Heat instant pot on sauté setting. Add olive oil and pancetta. Allow pancetta to cook, stirring, until brown and crispy. Add beans, chicken stock, water, and seasoning.
Close and lock lid. Cook on high pressure manual setting for 40 minutes. When finished, allow to natural release for 20-30 minutes.

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