Sausage and Bean Soup

Sausage and Bean Soup

by Brent Ridge, Josh Kilmer-Purcell, with Rose Marie Trapani

Makes 6 servings
40 minutes cooking

There are American, Hungarian, French, Portuguese, African, and Scandinavian variations of the story of Stone Soup—a parable that teaches how each of us can contribute a little to the whole, which then becomes something much greater than the sum of its parts. So many different cultures telling a similar story of neighborliness and gathering around a pot of soup is a lesson in and of itself. Think of all the people in your community right now with whom you could share this wonderful recipe.


2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 pound Italian sausage, casings removed
3 garlic cloves, sliced
2 bay leaves
1/2 cup diced carrots
1/2 cup diced celery
1 large potato, peeled and diced
1 small zucchini, diced
4 cups chicken stock
Two 14.5-ounce cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
One 2-inch-square piece Parmigiano cheese rind
1/2 pound small shell pasta
Grated Parmigiano cheese for serving at the table


In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally until softened—about 3 minutes. Add sausage, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, and cook until browned—about 5 minutes. Add garlic, bay leaves, carrots, celery, potato, zucchini, stock, beans, parsley, and cheese rind. Bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook for 30 minutes; the stock will slightly thicken. Remove and discard bay leaves and cheese rind.

Meanwhile, cook pasta in salted water until al dente. Place 1/2 cup of pasta in each soup bowl and ladle soup over pasta. Serve with cheese.