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Creamy Parmesan Italian Sausage Soup

Creamy Parmesan Italian Sausage Soup: A Warm and Hearty Delight

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Warm up your soul with a bowl of creamy Parmesan Italian sausage soup! This comforting dish combines savory Italian sausage, tender pasta, and fresh spinach in a rich and creamy broth infused with aromatic herbs and spices. Whether you’re craving a cozy meal on a chilly evening or looking for a comforting dish to serve to family and friends, this recipe is sure to satisfy. Let’s dive into how to make this delicious soup that’s perfect for any occasion.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Q: Can I use hot Italian sausage instead of sweet Italian sausage?
A: Yes, you can use hot Italian sausage if you prefer a spicier flavor. Just be aware that it will add some heat to the soup, so adjust the amount according to your taste preferences.

Q: Can I use a different type of pasta instead of ditalini?
A: Absolutely! While ditalini is traditional for this soup, you can use any small pasta shape you have on hand, such as macaroni, small shells, or even orzo.

Q: Can I make this soup ahead of time?
A: Yes, this soup is perfect for making ahead of time. Simply prepare it as directed, allow it to cool, and then store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat it on the stovetop over low heat until warmed through before serving.

Q: Can I freeze this soup?
A: While you can freeze this soup, keep in mind that the texture of the pasta and spinach may change slightly upon thawing. If freezing, undercook the pasta slightly and add fresh spinach when reheating for the best results.

Q: Can I use frozen spinach instead of fresh spinach?
A: Yes, you can use frozen spinach if fresh spinach is not available. Thaw the spinach and squeeze out any excess moisture before adding it to the soup.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 lb sweet Italian sausage
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cups ditalini pasta
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 4 cups fresh spinach, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
  • Fresh parsley, chopped for garnish

Instructions:

  1. Cook the Italian Sausage: In a large soup pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the Italian sausage and cook, breaking it up with a spoon, until browned and cooked through, about 5-7 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the cooked sausage to a plate lined with paper towels to drain excess grease. Set aside.
  2. Saute the Onion and Garlic: In the same pot, add the diced onion and minced garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft and translucent, about 3-4 minutes.
  3. Add the Broth and Spices: Return the cooked sausage to the pot. Pour in the chicken broth and stir in the dried oregano, dried basil, and red pepper flakes, if using. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  4. Simmer the Soup: Bring the soup to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low and let the soup simmer for about 10 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together.
  5. Cook the Pasta: Add the ditalini pasta to the pot and continue to simmer for another 10-12 minutes, or until the pasta is tender.
  6. Stir in the Heavy Cream: Pour in the heavy cream and stir until well combined. Let the soup simmer for an additional 2-3 minutes to heat through.
  7. Add the Spinach: Stir in the chopped fresh spinach and cook for another 1-2 minutes, or until the spinach is wilted.
  8. Finish with Parmesan Cheese: Remove the soup from the heat and stir in the grated Parmesan cheese until melted and creamy.
  9. Garnish and Serve: Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with additional grated Parmesan cheese and chopped fresh parsley, if desired. Serve hot and enjoy!

Cook Notes and Variations:

  • Vegetarian Option: Omit the Italian sausage and use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth for a vegetarian version of this soup. Add extra veggies like diced carrots, celery, and bell peppers for added flavor and texture.
  • Spicy Variation: Increase the amount of red pepper flakes or add a pinch of cayenne pepper for a spicier kick.
  • Creamy Texture: For an even creamier texture, blend a portion of the soup with an immersion blender before adding the spinach and Parmesan cheese.
  • Herb Substitutions: Feel free to use fresh herbs instead of dried herbs for a burst of fresh flavor. Simply use 1 tablespoon each of chopped fresh oregano and basil in place of the dried herbs.

Keto and Low-Carb Version:

  • Replace Pasta: Substitute the ditalini pasta with low-carb alternatives like zucchini noodles (zoodles) or shirataki noodles to reduce the carb content of the soup.
  • Use Heavy Cream: Stick to heavy cream for its richness and lower carb content compared to milk or half-and-half.
  • Watch the Onions: Be mindful of the onion content, as they contain natural sugars. Use less onion or omit it altogether to further reduce the carb count.
  • Adjust Seasonings: Ensure that the chicken broth and sausage are both low in carbohydrates, and adjust the amount of salt and pepper to taste.

healty meal, low carbs meals, keto meal

Creamy Parmesan Italian Sausage Soup is a satisfying and flavorful dish that’s perfect for any time of year. With its creamy texture, savory Italian sausage, and aromatic herbs, it’s sure to become a favorite in your household. Whether you’re serving it as a comforting weeknight dinner or as part of a special occasion meal, this soup is sure to please. Experiment with different variations and enjoy the delicious flavors in every spoonful!

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