I like to welcome family home with steaming bowls of this hearty white bean soup. It features plenty of vegetables as well as tender Italian meatballs.—Mary Caron, Edenton, North Carolina
- 2 tablespoons dry bread crumbs
- 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 pound bulk Italian sausage
- 1 cup sliced leeks (white portion only)
- 1 medium carrot, chopped
- 1 celery rib, chopped
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 2 cans (15-1/2 ounces each) great northern beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) reduced-sodium beef broth
- 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes in sauce
- 1 package (6 ounces) fresh baby spinach
- 3 tablespoons minced fresh basil
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- In a large bowl, combine bread crumbs and cheese. Crumble sausage over mixture and mix well. Shape into 1/2-in. balls.
- Place in a greased 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan. Bake at 350° for 8-10 minutes or until juices run clear; drain and set aside.
- In a Dutch oven, saute the leeks, carrot and celery in oil until tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Stir in the beans, broths, tomatoes, spinach, basil, parsley, salt, pepper and reserved meatballs. Cover and cook until spinach is tender and meatballs are heated through. Yield: 10 servings (2-1/4 quarts).
Originally published as Zuppa di Fagioli in Taste of Home's Holiday & Celebrations Cookbook Annual 2009, p178
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