Slow Cooker Italian Sausage Vegetable Soup

Adapted from An Oregon Cottage

Ingredients:

1 lb. Italian turkey sausage (I used Honeysuckle mild turkey sausage with great results!)

4 c. beef stock (may want extra for more liquid)

1/2 c. dry red wine (or more stock if you want to omit the wine)

1 (28oz) can diced tomatoes, undrained

1 medium onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 (15oz) can white beans, drained and rinsed (can also use garbanzo beans)

2 c. chopped spinach (can also use cabbage, chard, or kale)

2 whole carrots, peeled and sliced

2 c. chopped green beans (if using frozen, thaw a bit and add about 45 minutes prior to serving)
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. black pepper

1 c. orzo (or other small pasta)

fresh grated Parmesan for garnish (optional)

parsley for garnish (optional)


Stove-top method:

If using uncooked sausage, cook it in the skillet with the onions and garlic until cooked through. Drain fat if necessary. 
Combine the stock with the wine and pour over the meat. Add the remaining ingredients except for the pasta and garnishes. Bring to a simmer and cook for 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, cook the orzo according to package directions. Mix with the soup just before serving. Serve with Parmesan and parsley if desired.

Stove-top method:

If using uncooked sausage, cook it in the skillet with the onions and garlic until cooked through. Drain fat if necessary. 
Combine the stock with the wine and pour over the meat. Add the remaining ingredients except for the pasta and garnishes. Bring to a simmer and cook for 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, cook the orzo according to package directions. Mix with the soup just before serving. Serve with Parmesan and parsley if desired.

Yield: 6-8 servings

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