If possible make this soup a day ahead and refrigerate, the flavor will intensify --- kielbasa or any dried smoked sausage will work good for this soup and any kind of beans may be used successfully, spinach is a great addition also --- serve with more Parmesan cheese on the side a large crusty loaf of bread --- you will *love* this soup! :)
- 2 cups sliced dried smoked sausage (can use more or less)
- 3 -4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion (quartered or very coarsley chopped)
- 3 tablespoons minced fresh garlic
- 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes (or to taste, adjust to suit heat level)
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons dried basil
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 6 cups chicken broth (can use half broth and water)
- 1 -2 tablespoon chicken bouillon powder (or use 2 small packages OXO chicken boullion powder)
- 1 (14 ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice
- 1 (14 ounce) can tomato sauce
- 1 (15 ounce) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 (15 ounce) can navy beans, rinsed and drained
- 3⁄4 cup grated parmesan cheese (can use more)
- 2 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper (or to taste)
- 2 cups uncooked small shell pasta
- In a large pot lightly brown the sausage slices on both sides then remove to a bowl.
- In the same pot heat the oil over medium heat; add in onion and saute for about 5-6 minutes or until softened.
- Add in the garlic, pepper flakes, basil and oregano; cook stirring for 2 minutes.
- Add the sausage back to the pot along with the broth, bouillon powder, diced tomatoes with juice, tomato sauce, both cans of beans, Parmesan cheese and 1-2 teaspoons ground black pepper; stir with a wooden spoon and bring to a simmer over medium heat.
- Reduce heat to low and simmer covered for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
- Season with seasoned salt or white salt.
- Meanwhile in another pot cook the small shell pasta until al dente; drain then add to the soup before serving.
- Serve with more Parmesan cheese on the side.