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Italian Sausage Soup

Italian Sausage Soup with Caramelized Fennel and Ditalini

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Popular Recipe alert! 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 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 650
  • Protein 51g
  • Total Carb 65g
  • Total Fat 17g

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
  • diced tomatoes
    • 1 can
    • diced tomatoes
  • leek
    • 1
    • leek
  • fennel
    • 1 bulb
    • fennel
  • garlic
    • 1 clove
    • garlic
  • white wine
    • 1/4 cup
    • white wine
  • tomato paste
    • 2 teaspoons
    • tomato paste
  • crushed red pepper
    • 1/2 teaspoon
    • crushed red pepper
  • chicken stock
    • 32 ounces
    • chicken stock
  • baby spinach
    • 3 ounces
    • baby spinach
  • ditalini pasta
    • 3 ounces
    • ditalini pasta
  • grated Parmesan cheese
    • 1/2 ounce
    • 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 (move on to the next step—but don't forget to come back!). Remove pot from heat. Using a slotted spoon, transfer sausage to a bowl, leaving behind any juices in pot for Step 3. Set aside.

  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, to let dirt sink to bottom. Rinse fennel and halve, then cut core out in a wedge shape and discard; slice as thinly as possible. Mince garlic.

  3. Caramelize fennel and leek

    Caramelize fennel and leek

    Remove leek from water; 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, stirring, 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 and leek are browned and caramelized, 2-3 minutes more.

  4. Sauté aromatics

    Sauté aromatics

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

  5. Simmer soup

    Simmer soup

    Add stock, drained tomatoes, and browned sausage to pot with vegetables. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and simmer until flavors have melded, 5-6 minutes. Meanwhile, rinse spinach and pat dry with paper towel.

  6. Cook pasta and plate soup

    Cook pasta and plate soup

    Once soup has simmered, add ditalini to pot, still over medium heat, and cook until pasta is al dente, about 8 minutes. Then, 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, sprinkle over Parmesan, and dig in!

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