16-ounce can cannellini (white kidney
beans) or pintos
dried sage (optional)
red chili flakes
stale white bread (sourdough or chunks of
Parmesan cheese (optional)
Coarsely chop the Italian sausage and
onion into small chunks.
Pass the garlic through a garlic
If you're using fresh spinach, rinse
it well to remove any grit, and leave it whole.
In a large saucepan, heat the olive
oil over medium heat and add the sausage, garlic, and onion.
Sauté until sausage is cooked and
onion is softened and lightly browned.
Pour the water into the pan and add
the stock cubes.
Drain the can of beans (through a
strainer or by holding the lid you just removed over the can opening
and pouring into the sink) and add beans to the sausage.
Add the fresh or frozen spinach, the
sage if using, and the chili flakes and salt.
Raise the heat slightly and bring to a
While the pot is heating, crumble the
bread into the soup.
Stir well, let the soup simmer for
about five minutes.
Taste and adjust seasonings.
Serve immediately, dusted with
Parmesan if desired. (This soup is best eaten fresh and not stored).
Makes 6-8 cups of soup, serves 4 as a main
Inspired by hearty Tuscan bean dishes,
this fragrant and filling stew provides an entire meal in a bowl. It
fills the house with the inviting scents of garlic and sausage, and -
it's ready in about 15 minutes.
The Italian habit of thickening stews with
white bread is fast and frugal, but don't put bread in the stew if you
only have regular white sandwich bread. You need a good, chewy bakery
bread to achieve the proper texture.