Hearty Italian Sausage Soup

Serves: 4

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes + resting – see notes below

You’ll need:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, finely diced
  • 1 large carrot, finely diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 150g pancetta, or use streaky bacon or chorizo
  • 400g spicy sausage, casings removed and made into rough chunks
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 400g tin cannelini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 litre chicken stock
  • 250g orzo or similar little pasta
  • ½ tsp crushed chillies
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • Black pepper
  • A large handful of flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • Parmesan to serve

What to do:

Heat 2tbsp olive oil in deep frying pan or casserole, add the onion, celery, carrots and garlic and cook until softened. Remove from the pan and set to one side.  Immediately add the pancetta and cook until golden, remove from the pan and add to the vegetable mixture. 

Add the spicy sausage to the pan and cook until golden.  Add the vegetables and pancetta, the tomatoes, cannellini beans, stock, orzo, chilies, bay leaves, oregano and black pepper.  Give the whole thing a good stir, put the lid on and simmer for around 20 minutes. 

When the pasta is cooked, the soup is ready.  Now you have a couple of choices.  You can either serve it immediately as it is or you can leave it with the lid on for another ten minutes 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.