Italian Sausage and Fennel Soup
Many years ago I watched chef and TV personality Mario Batali make an Italian soup that had fennel, garlic and bread as the base. I have dietary restrictions that don’t allow me to eat bread, so I made my own version by omitting the bread and adding sausage for protein. It’s hearty and irresistible on a cold night. It can feed a crowd or provide plenty of leftovers. If you find yourself missing the bread, serve it on the side to perfectly round out your meal. —Suzanne Clark, Fort Dodge, IA
Total TimePrep: 20 min. Cook: 30 min.
Makes12 servings (3 quarts)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 package (12 ounces) fully cooked Italian or spicy chicken sausage links, halved lengthwise and sliced 3/4-inch thick
- 1 medium fennel bulb, cut into 3/4-inch pieces (2 cups)
- 3 medium carrots, cut into 1/2-inch slices
- 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 3/4 pound red potatoes (about 3 medium), cut into 3/4-inch cubes
- 1 can (15 ounces) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 carton (32 ounces) chicken broth
- 4 cups water
- 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, drained
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- In a 6-qt. stockpot, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat; saute sausage until lightly browned, 2-3 minutes. Remove sausage, reserving drippings in pot.
- In same pot, heat remaining oil over medium heat; saute fennel, carrots and onion 8 minutes. Add garlic; cook and stir 1 minute. Add potatoes, beans, broth and water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, 10 minutes.
- Stir in tomatoes, salt, pepper and sausage; return to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, until vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes.