Sausage and Pasta Soup~

Adapted from my friend, Kim

1 pound mild Italian Sausages, sliced

3 medium carrots, peeled and chopped

2 celery ribs, peeled and chopped

1 large onion, peeled and chopped (can also use shallots or leeks)

3 cloves garlic, minced

8 cups chicken broth

15 ounce can diced tomatoes

15 ounce cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

1 tablespoon dried basil

1 1/2 cups large shell pasta (I like to use orecchiette)

6 ounces spinach leaves, slightly chopped (I use a bag of baby spinach)

Salt and pepper to taste

Grated Parmesan cheese

Saute sausages in a Dutch oven until browned.  Discard excess fat.

Add carrots, celery, onion and garlic.  Saute till onion is limp and translucent.  Add broth, basil, tomatoes with juice and beans.  Bring to a boil.

Add pasta, reduce heat and simmer till pasta tender.  Skim any excess fat.  Stir in spinach and cook till wilted, about 30 seconds.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Garnish with Parmesan.