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Italian Sausage Soup

Italian Sausage Soup with Caramelized Fennel and Ditalini

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Recipe Details


We’re translating a classic Italian flavor pairing—sausage and fennel—into a hearty soup packed with veggies. Thinly sliced fennel and leek are caramelized in olive oil, garlic, and white wine to add deep, aromatic flavor to a tomato and spinach broth. Tiny pasta shapes called ditalini fit in every spoonful. Slurp-worthy? Check. Finished with plenty of grated Parmesan? Double check.


  • Stovetop Only

Quick facts

Serving size
Prep & cook time
Cooking Skill
By Chef Andrea

By Chef Andrea

Nutritional info

  • Calories 690
  • Protein 41g
  • Total Carb 64g
  • Total Fat 28g

Given the cook-at-home nature of Plated and natural variation in ingredients, nutritional information is approximated. See details.

Ingredients & Equipment

What we send

  • ground sweet Italian sausage
    12 ounces
    ground sweet Italian sausage
  • leek
  • fennel
    1 bulb
  • garlic
    1 clove
  • 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes
    14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • white wine
    1/4 cup
    white wine
  • crushed red pepper
    1/2 teaspoon
    crushed red pepper
  • tomato paste
    2 teaspoons
    tomato paste
  • chicken stock
    32 ounces
    chicken stock
  • ditalini pasta
    3 ounces
    ditalini pasta
  • baby spinach
    2 ounces
    baby spinach
  • grated Parmesan cheese
    2 tablespoons
    grated Parmesan cheese

What You’ll Need

  • 8" medium pot

Cooking Steps

  1. Brown Sausage

    Brown Sausage

    Heat ½ tablespoon olive oil in a medium pot over medium-high heat. When oil is shimmering, add sausage and cook, breaking up, until browned, 4-5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer sausage to a bowl, leaving behind any juices in pot, and set aside. Reserve pot for caramelizing fennel.

  2. Prepare Ingredients

    Prepare Ingredients

    While sausage cooks, rinse all produce. If your leek has arrived with dark green tops, trim and discard them. Halve leek lengthwise, then cut crosswise into ¼-inch half-moons. Place in a bowl of cold water, separating pieces with your fingers, to let dirt sink to bottom. Halve fennel bulb, then cut core out in a wedge shape and discard. Slice fennel as thinly as possible. Mince garlic. Drain diced tomatoes, discarding juices. 

  3. Caramelize Fennel and Leeks

    Caramelize Fennel and Leeks

    Remove leeks from water and pat dry with paper towel. Return pot from sausage to medium heat and add 1 tablespoon olive oil. When oil is shimmering, add leeks and fennel. Sauté to soften fennel, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 minute. Add wine and cook until almost fully evaporated, 1-2 minutes. Increase heat to medium high. Cook, stirring, until fennel is browned and caramelized, 2-3 minutes more.

  4. Sauté Aromatics

    Sauté Aromatics

    Add crushed red pepper (skip or use half for less heat) and tomato paste to pot with vegetables over medium-high heat. Sauté, stirring, until fragrant, 1-2 minutes. Season with ¼ teaspoon salt and black pepper as desired.

  5. Simmer Soup

    Simmer Soup

    Add chicken stock and drained tomatoes to pot. Return browned sausage to pot. Bring soup to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium and simmer until flavors are melded, 5-6 minutes.

  6. Cook Pasta and Plate

    Cook Pasta and Plate

    Stir ditalini into pot over medium heat and cook until pasta is al dente, about 8 minutes. Stir in spinach to wilt, 1-2 minutes more. Season with ½ teaspoon salt and black pepper as desired. Divide Italian sausage soup between serving bowls, garnish with Parmesan, and dig in!

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