I made this for dinner tonight and it was a huge success. It's very hearty and comforting; [perfect] on those chilly, winter nights. I recommend using low sodium chicken broth and no salt added spinach, unless you like your soup really salty. It's super quick to make; you don't need to cook it all day in a crock pot, like most flavorful soups. It only took me about an hour to make. If you're a fan of spicy foods, feel free to use all spicy sausage instead of the sweet. You can substitute any flavors of sausage you'd like, but I prefer sweet and spicy. This is fantastic served over small pasta (such as macaroni, rice, or orzo), and served with garlic bread (dunk it!). I served it with garlic toasts (found here). This was such a delicious and satisfying meal that I will make many more times.
1 pound Italian sausage (I used 3 links of sweet, 2 links spicy)
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 (14 ounce) cans chicken broth
2 (14.5 ounce) can Italian-style stewed tomatoes
1 cup sliced carrots
1 (14.5 ounce) can great Northern beans, undrained
2 small zucchini, cubed
1 10-oz package frozen chopped spinach
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
salt and pepper to taste
Garnish: Grated Parmesan Cheese (optional)
In a stockpot or Dutch oven, brown sausage with garlic. Stir in broth, tomatoes, carrots, and onion powder, and season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer 15 minutes.
Stir in beans with liquid and zucchini. Cover, and simmer another 15 minutes, or until zucchini is tender.
Remove from heat, and add spinach. Replace lid allowing the heat from the soup to cook the spinach leaves. Soup is ready to serve after about 10 minutes, or when spinach is not frozen and distributed evenly throughout the soup. Garnish with cheese if desired.