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Italian Sausage Soup

Italian Sausage Soup with Caramelized Fennel and Ditalini

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This Popular Recipe translates 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
Serving size
Prep & cook time
Cooking Skill
  • 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

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

What You’ll Need

  • olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • black pepper
  • 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 Step 3.

  2. Prepare ingredients

    Prepare ingredients

    While sausage cooks, drain diced tomatoes, discarding juices. If leek arrived with dark green top, trim and discard it. 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. Rinse fennel and halve, then cut core out in a wedge shape and discard. Slice fennel as thinly as possible. Mince garlic.

  3. Caramelize fennel and leek

    Caramelize fennel and leek

    Remove leek from water and pat dry with paper towel. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in pot from sausage over medium heat. When oil is shimmering, add leek and fennel. Sauté until fennel is softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 minute. Add wine and cook until mostly 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 with vegetables. 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 soup

    Cook pasta and plate soup

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

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