It is unbelievably cold outside – the high yesterday was FOUR – which makes Lincoln’s new favorite travel activity of ripping off his shoes and socks 30 seconds after being strapped into his car seat so I have to put them back on with the wind blasting us before getting him back out of the car slightly infuriating. I mean, come. on!
That said, I am constantly looking for ways to warm up these days. Vanilla lattes in the middle of the day: check. Car seat warmer on full blast: check. Baby blue, penguin-clad cuddle duds all darn day: CHECK! Plus lots and lots of soup. Especially Italian Sausage and Vegetable Soup, which I created for Progresso using their tasty, naturally gluten-free chicken broth!
This soup recipe is packed with good for you vegetables like leeks, carrots, celery, and baby red potatoes, plus it contains the warming flavors of parmesan cheese and Italian sausage. Sometimes Ben will argue that soup doesn’t qualify as a meal, but each hot and hearty bowl of this soup is squashing that stereotype. It’s warming, just a touch spicy, and incredibly filling.
Italian Sausage and Vegetable Soup goes from cutting board to bowl in under 30 minutes and, like most soups, tastes even more delicious the day after it’s made. I loved each spoonful even more than the previous one. This will definitely become a winter soup staple in our house!
Tips for Making Italian Sausage and Vegetable Soup:
- I use my Dutch Oven to make this recipe though a large soup pot works well too.
- This recipe calls for fresh leeks which can feel intimidating but I promise they’re easy to work with. Plus it’s fun to try something new! The flavor of leeks is a cross between onions and garlic and they caramelize beautifully.
- My secret for making quick-cooking soups taste like they’ve been simmering all day is to toss in a parmesan cheese rind while simmering. Many grocery stores sell the rinds for pennies which I buy then freeze until I need one. Try this trick – I promise you’ll notice a difference!
- Feeling extra cold? Add a pinch or more of red pepper flakes to add a fabulous, spicy kick to this soup.
How to Make This Recipe:
Start by prepping the vegetables including 2 large or 3 small leeks. As I said, Leeks can appear to be really intimidating but truly they’re super simple to use and add so much flavor.
Trim the root end and dark green end off then slice the leeks in half and check for any dirt between the layers. Rinse off anything you find then thinly slice.
Next chop the rest of the vegetables including 1 large or two medium-sized carrots, 1 large celery stalk, and 1lb baby red potatoes (about 6 baby red potatoes.)
Time for some heat! First brown 3/4lb ground Italian sausage in a large Dutch Oven or soup pot over medium-high heat. I used mild sausage and the soup still had a nice, warming kick. Scoop the sausage onto a plate then set aside for a bit.
Turn the heat down to medium then heat 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil in the pot. Add the leeks, carrots, and celery, season with salt and pepper, then saute until the vegetables are tender, 5-7 minutes. Add 2 cloves minced garlic and 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning then continue to saute until the garlic is fragrant, 1-2 minutes.
Next add 6 cups Progresso Chicken Broth.
As I mentioned, I developed this recipe using Progresso Chicken Broth which is not only gluten free but MSG and preservative-free too! I find that can be hard to come by in a chicken broth that doesn’t cost $4+ for a carton.
Add the chicken broth to the pot along with a 15oz can crushed tomatoes, the baby red potatoes, and cooked sausage. The tomato sauce is great in this soup as it adds a richness that makes it taste like it’s been simmering for hours.
Turn the heat to high to bring the soup to a boil then add a 3-4″ parmesan cheese rind.
Turn the heat back down to medium then place a lid on top and simmer until the potatoes are tender, 5-7 minutes. I love using red potatoes because of the pretty color, of course, but also because they don’t fall apart and turn to mush in this soup – even a few days later.
Ladle the Italian Sausage and Vegetable soup into bowls then top with a sprinkling of fresh parmesan cheese, if you please, and then dig in!
More Hearty Soup Recipes
- Ham and Bean Soup
- Hamburger Soup
- Sweet Corn, Kielbasa and Potato Soup
- Italian Wedding Soup
- Black Bean Soup
- Smoked Sausage, White Bean and Spinach Soup
- Cheesy Taco Soup
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Italian Sausage and Vegetable Soup
Gluten-free Italian Sausage and Vegetable Soup is hot and hearty enough to warm you up on the coldest days of the year!
- 3/4lb gluten-free ground Italian sausage (mild or hot)
- 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 3 small or 2 large leeks, white and light green parts only, chopped in half then sliced
- 2 medium-sized carrots, sliced (1/2 cup)
- 1 celery stalk, sliced (1/2 cup)
- salt and pepper
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1lb baby red potatoes (about 6 baby red potatoes,) chopped
- 6 cups gluten-free chicken broth
- 15oz can crushed tomatoes
- parmesan cheese rind (optional)
- Brown Italian sausage in a large Dutch oven or soup pot over medium-high heat. Transfer to a plate then turn heat down to medium. Add extra virgin olive oil to the pot then add leeks, carrots, and celery, season with salt and pepper, and then saute until vegetables are tender, 5-7 minutes. Add garlic and Italian seasoning then saute until garlic is fragrant, 1-2 minutes.
- Add potatoes, chicken broth, crushed tomatoes, parmesan cheese rind, and browned sausage to the pot then turn heat up to bring soup to a boil. Turn heat back down to medium then cover and simmer until potatoes are tender, 5-7 minutes. Taste and add salt and pepper if necessary then serve topped with freshly grated parmesan cheese.
This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats, http://iowagirleats.com.