White Bean & Sausage Soup

My Carolina Kitchen

Olive oil

¾ pound of mild Italian sausage (or up to 1 ½ pounds if you prefer)

2 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, minced

2 medium onions, cut into medium dice

2 medium carrots, peeled & cut into medium dice

2 medium celery stalks, cut into medium dice

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary

8 ounces sliced white button mushrooms

8 ounces sliced cremini (baby bella) mushrooms

1 quart chicken broth

3 16-ounce cans cannelloni or great northern white beans

Freshly grated Parmesan cheese for garnish

Remove sausage from its casings, crumble the meat (discard casings) and sauté in a ten inch non-stick skillet pan in a tiny bit of olive oil until nicely browned and fully cooked. Set sausage aside and wipe out the skillet.

Add about two tablespoons of olive oil to the skillet and sauté the prosciutto, onions, carrots and celery over high heat about three or four minutes until they begin to soften. Season with salt and pepper, turn the heat to low and continue to sauté until they are nicely browned, about ten minutes. Add the thyme, rosemary and tomato paste and cook for a couple of minutes, then remove the vegetables and set aside with the sausage. 

Sauté the mushrooms in olive oil until nicely browned, seasoning with salt and pepper about half way through. Remove the mushrooms and set aside with the sausage and vegetables.

Smash one can of beans with a fork, then add it and the remaining beans with their liquid to a soup pot along with the broth, vegetables and sausage. Cover, bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to medium-low and continue to simmer, partially covered, to blend the flavors, about 20 minutes. Turn off heat and let sit for 10 minutes for flavors to develop. Return soup to a simmer and serve. Can be made ahead and frozen. Before serving, sprinkle each person’s bowl with freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Makes eight servings.

Adapted from Perfect Recipes for Having People Over by Pam Anderson