We found this recipe a couple of years ago on the back of a box of pasta at the City Market grocery store in Breckenridge, CO. There are a bunch of variations online, but this one is really simple and we use it as the base for our variations.
• If you make broth from your Thanksgiving Turkey, this is a perfect use for that broth.
• If you’re using sausage and in a rush, you can slice the sausage into thin slices. It’s not traditional but it gets the same flavor.
• If you’re like us and make large batches of Italian Meatballs, you can use your leftovers in this recipe instead of the sausage. Just cut large meatballs down into 1/2 inch pieces.
• We found a recipe that includes cherry tomatoes. We add those, too, from time to time because we like the extra flavor, even though it’s not traditional.
- 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1 cup onion, chopped
- 1 cup carrot, chopped
- 1/2 cup celery chopped
- 1 tablespoon garlic, chopped
- 4 cups chicken broth (use fresh if you have it)
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1 lb Italian Sausage (or your favorite sausage) or Italian meatballs
- 1 cup Acini de Pepe pasta
- 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, cut into halves (optional)
- 3 cups of baby spinach or kale (or a mix of both)
- 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped (for garnish)
- Salt & pepper for taste
- Prep your vegetables.
Heat the olive oil in a pot over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, and celery. Saute for 4 minutes, of until they are starting to soften. Add the garlic and saute for a couple more minutes.
- Add the chicken broth and red pepper flakes (optional) and bring it to a boil.
- Roll the sausage meat into 1/2 inch meatballs. or cut it into small slices. If you’re using traditional meatballs, cut them into halves or quarters so they are about 1/2 inch.
- Add the meatballs to the soup and simmer for 4 minutes, or until the meatballs are cooked through.
- Add the baby spinach or kale, and the acini di pepe pasta and cherry tomatoes (optional) and simmer for 7 more minutes. Add salt & pepper to taste.
- Serve up in large bowls. Add the chopped parsley as a garnish on the soup.