Easy Weekend Italian Soup

Easy weekend Italian Soup. Amy Connell | GracedHealth.com

January weekends turn this happy-to-chop-veggies mama into a resentful, wine-desiring crankpot. (Please make sure you don’t miss the “n” in that previous word.)

Why?

Because gone are December days of free-for-all lunches and half-hearted meal planning. Instead, we wave goodbye to restaurants and wine, and hello to nutritious, clean, home-cooked meals that support our health goals.  

As the focus on ingredients and quality intensifies, so does my time in the kitchen. Mr. Poppins, my practically-perfect-in-every-way husband, wisely knows this has a tendency to (hmmm, how can I put this in PG-rated format?) make me witchy. Because of this, he’s appreciative of anything I prepare.

I discovered a hack: I create a large batch meal for Friday’s lunch. For the next three days, this is our mid-day meal. One-time make, three-day consumption. Win!

“Winter” (I use this term loosely as I live in the Houston area) allows me to create soups, which keep (and freeze) well.  Plus, often they are a one-pot meal. Clean-up bonus.

I found this Italian soup from Rachel Cooks and made a few minor adjustments. It’s prepared quickly and provides plenty of veggies and protein for a hearty meal.

Easy weekend Italian Soup. Amy Connell | GracedHealth.com

Sausage, admittedly, does not rank highest in clean eating. But combined with veggies and beans, we’ll just call that balanced.

Easy weekend meal recipe. Amy Connell | GracedHealth.com

Keep in mind I’m not a food blogger nor a photographer. My pictures stink and recipes aren’t scientific. Please don’t let that deter you; I only share meals we love and I think your family will, too.

My younger son says it tastes like pizza. It must be the sausage and cheese combination.

Not a meat eater? Take out the sausage, add more beans and extra Italian seasoning. See? It looks amazing even without the meat.

Weekend soup to make meals easier. Amy Connell | GracedHealth.com

Meatless version

Speaking of the meat, adapt as you desire. Two pounds of meat is a little heavy for my liking but it also makes it more hearty.

Italian Soup

Adapted from Rachel Cooks 20 Minute Turkey and Bean Soup

1 Tbs olive oil

1 tsp garlic, minced

Two yellow or sweet onions, diced

8 oz carton mushrooms, diced (I use my Pampered Chef Chopper to hide these from picky eaters)

2 pounds lean turkey or chicken sausage

1 zucchini, chopped

Italian seasoning

2 cans diced tomatoes

2 cans white beans (cannellini or white northern) drained and rinsed

6-8 cups chicken or vegetable broth/stock

Freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese, for topping

Optional: multigrain roll or crusty bread

———

Heat the oil over medium heat in a large stockpot.  Add garlic, stir about 30 seconds or until fragrant.  Add onions, saute a few minutes, then add mushrooms.  Cook until mushrooms begin to release their juices.  Transfer to a bowl.

Brown the sausage in the same bowl and break into small crumbles. (I typically sop up any extra liquid with a paper towel. Then discard.)

Return onion mix to bowl with sausage.

Add zucchini. Allow to cook a couple minutes. These will continue to cook as you proceed.

Add seasoning. However much you want. (I told you I’m not very specific.)

Add tomatoes and beans. Stir to combine.

Add broth/stock. If you prefer the consistency of a chili, use less. More soupy, add more.

If you haven’t removed dairy from your January nutrition, pay the extra money and top with fresh parmigiano-reggiano cheese.  I find this in the fresh cheese section of my HEB. The grated stuff in the green Kraft container works, too, but the fresh stuff … mmmmmmm.

This pairs nicely with a warm multigrain roll, or any thick, crusty bread.

Enjoy!

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What are your go-to weekend meals? Comment below! (Bonus points for linking to a recipe if you have it!)

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