Pantry staples and a few fresh ingredients combine to make a comforting soup that’s ready to eat in less than an hour. This one-pot dish was dubbed “a staff favorite” by our test kitchen, and you’ll see why when you serve it. The White Bean, Fennel, and Italian Sausage Soup is colorful and hearty, and the Parmesan Toast adds a little crunch. You can use any kind of white beans, but our test kitchen professionals recommend cannellinis. The recipe also calls for mild Italian sausage, but you can substitute hot Italian sausage for a spicier soup. When the nights start getting colder, the whole family will enjoy coming to the dinner table for this warm and hearty soup. Don’t forget the Parmesan Toasts on the side for dunking. Everyone will be asking for seconds, so hopefully you’ve made enough.
1 pound mild Italian sausage, casings removed
2 cups thinly sliced yellow onion (from 1 medium)
1 cup thinly sliced celery (from about 3 stalks)
1 cup thinly sliced fennel (from 1 small fennel bulb)
3 garlic cloves, chopped (about 1 Tbsp.)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 teaspoon black pepper, divided
1/4 cup dry white wine
6 cups chicken stock
2 (15-oz.) cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15-oz.) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, undrained
16 (1⁄4-inch) French baguette slices (from 1 large baguette)
Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high. Add sausage, and cook, stirring to crumble, until no longer pink, 6 to 8 minutes. Drain, leaving 1 tablespoon of drippings with sausage in Dutch oven. Add onion, celery, fennel, garlic, salt, red pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon of the black pepper. Cook, stirring often, until vegetables have softened, about 5 minutes. Add white wine, and scrape any browned bits from the bottom of the Dutch oven. Stir in chicken stock, beans, and tomatoes; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 10 minutes.
Preheat broiler with oven rack 6 inches from heat. Place baguette slices on a rimmed baking sheet, and brush 1 side of each piece with olive oil. Sprinkle evenly with cheese and remaining 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Broil until cheese is melted and beginning to brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from oven.
Ladle 1 1/2 cups soup into each of 8 bowls; sprinkle with chopped rosemary, and serve with toasts.