Thursdays Are For Cooking

| July 16, 2020


Soup, you say? How about a good Tuscan bean soup made with stuff from the cupboard and fridge? When made properly, soup is always filling and satisfying and will keep you going all day. This gives you a chance to use stuff you bought a while back but never got around to using.

Tuscan Sausage Soup

  • Prep 35 minutes
  • Total 60 minutes
  • Servings: 6 to 8 (depending on growling tummies)

When you don’t know what’s for dinner but it needs to be comforting, we suggest this soup. It has a brothy tomato base that’s loaded with rich Italian sausage, sweet carrots, caramely onions, tender cannellini beans, silky spinach and just the right amount of pasta. Top it off with a handful of garlicky butter-toasted Progresso™ bread crumbs and a handful of Parmesan, and you’ve got dinner. Extra credit if you serve it alongside a green salad and loaf of crusty bread.

Recipe by Betty Crocker Kitchens

Updated November 22, 2019


1 lb Italian ground pork sausage

1 cup chopped onions

1 large carrot, peeled, cut into quarters lengthwise and into 1/4-inch slices (about 1 cup)

1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic

¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional if you don’t like heat)

6 cups Progresso™ reduced sodium chicken broth (from two 32-oz cartons)

1 can (19 oz) Progresso™ cannellini beans, drained, rinsed (If you don’t have cannellinis, any beans will do as long as they are not canned in chili sauce.)

1 can (28 oz) Muir Glen™ organic fire roasted diced tomatoes, undrained

2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano (Use 3 teaspoons of dried oregano if you don’t have fresh stuff.)

1 bay leaf

¾ cup (3 oz) small ring pasta, such as ditalini  (Any short pasta will do if you don’t have ditalini.)

3 cups baby spinach, coarsely chopped

1 tablespoon olive oil

½ cup Progresso™ plain panko crispy bread crumbs

½ cup grated Parmesan cheese


  • 1 – Heat 5-quart Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add sausage, onions and carrot; cook 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to break up sausage, until sausage is no longer pink. Stir in garlic and pepper flakes; cook 1 to 2 minutes or until garlic is fragrant.
  • 2 – Stir in broth, beans, tomatoes, oregano and bay leaf. Heat to boiling; reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer uncovered 10 minutes. Add pasta; simmer 8 to 9 minutes or until pasta is tender. Remove bay leaf, and discard.
  • 3 – Stir in spinach; cover and remove from heat. Let stand 5 minutes; stir.
  • 4 – Meanwhile, in 8-inch nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium heat Add bread crumbs; cook and stir 2 to 3 minutes or until toasted and golden brown. Remove from heat.
  • 5 – Divide soup among serving bowls; garnish each with cheese and toasted bread crumbs.
  • Expert Tips
  • In the cold months, we can’t get enough soup, particularly hearty soups with plenty of veggies in the mix. With 3 cups of spinach, a can of Muir Glen™ fire roasted diced tomatoes, onions and carrots, it’s the easiest way we know to get everyone to eat their vegetables. After all, there’s pasta and sausage in the mix, and the topping of buttery bread crumbs and Parm doesn’t hurt either. Keep this recipe on hand for a night when you’ve got a crowd to feed or a bunch of veggies to use up! We predict it’s about to become a new family fave.
  • Leftovers aren’t a problem with this recipe, as the soup freezes beautifully.
  • Ditalini pasta is a short tubular pasta that is sometimes labeled as ring pasta. Orzo or small elbow-shaped pasta are both good substitutes if ditalini isn’t available.
  • The simple finishes of Parmesan and toasted Progresso™ panko bread crumbs make this soup an instant family favorite.

Category: Cooking, Economy

Comments (2)

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  1. 5th/77th FA says:

    This one lends itself well in crockett pot cooking too. The crusty bread (or a skillet of buttermilk cornbread) makes for a nice pot likker. Crocked pot gets a good work out this time of year down here. As screwed up as my sleep patterns have been, I do most of my cooking before the sun comes up, or well after it is 0GOD30 hours.

    Last coupla days, with heat temps in the 98-100 F range, I’ve been supporting my local home owned little Poppy’s Cafe. Fried yard bird, collards with “Tater Salad” (ht to Ron White) and hoe cakes for yesterday, hamburger steak, rice & gravy, pole beans with hoe cakes today. The very generous serving that Ms Gail Thang gives is enough for 2 meals for me.

    Tanks Matey!

  2. gitarcarver says:

    For those who like to cook under pressure:

    Tuscan Instant Pot White Bean Soup with Sausage and Kale


    1 pound hot or sweet Italian sausage, depending on what you like, cut into bite sized pieces
    1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil buy now
    1 onion, chopped
    1 carrot, chopped
    1 stalk celery, chopped
    2 cloves garlic, chopped
    1 teaspoon dried rosemary
    1 bay leaf
    4 cups chicken broth
    1 cup water
    2 – 14 oz cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed well
    1/2 pound kale, stems removed and chopped


    Set Instant Pot to Saute and wait 1 minute to heat up.

    Add the sausage and cook for about 5 minutes, browning each side.

    Add olive oil, onion, carrot, celery, garlic, rosemary, bay leaf. Saute for 2 minutes, stirring often.

    Add chicken broth, water, beans, kale. Stir.

    Secure the lid on the Instant Pot and make sure the vent is set to “sealing”. Set the manual time to 8 minutes.

    After the timer runs out, manually release the pressure and enjoy!