Hearty Italian sausage soup

Hearty Italian sausage soup
Serves: 4
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, finely diced
  • 1 large carrot, finely diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 150g pancetta, streaky bacon or chorizo
  • 400g spicy sausage, casings removed and cut into rough chunks
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 400g tin cannelini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 litre chicken stock
  • 250g orzo or similar small pasta
  • ½ tsp crushed chillies
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • black pepper
  • 1 large handful flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • parmesan to serve
  1. Heat 2tbsp olive oil in deep frying pan or casserole, add the onion, celery, carrots and garlic and cook until softened.
  2. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  3. Immediately add the pancetta to the pan and cook until golden.
  4. Remove from the pan and add to the vegetable mixture.
  5. Add the sausage to the pan and cook until golden.
  6. Add the vegetables and pancetta, the tomatoes, cannellini beans, stock, orzo, chilies, bay leaves, oregano and black pepper.
  7. Give the whole thing a good stir, put the lid on and simmer for around 20 mins.
  8. When the pasta is cooked, the soup is ready.
  9. Now you can either serve it immediately as it is or leave it with the lid on for another 10 mins or so. The pasta will continue to absorb the liquid and it will become less soupy, more like the texture of risotto. Either way, serve with chopped parsley and grated parmesan.
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