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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 Time
    Prep: 20 min. Cook: 30 min.
  • Makes
    12 servings (3 quarts)

Ingredients

  • 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

Directions

  • 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.
Nutrition Facts
1 cup: 140 calories, 5g fat (1g saturated fat), 23mg cholesterol, 707mg sodium, 16g carbohydrate (4g sugars, 4g fiber), 8g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 1 starch, 1 lean meat, 1/2 fat.

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