Italian Sausage and Vegetable Soup
A filling soup packed with the flavors of Italian sausage, zucchini, tomatoes, spinach and topped with Parmesan cheese. A hearty one pot meal that is freezer friendly and can be made in the slow cooker.
I like to think this is the soup that landed me my husband.
Sure we were high school sweethearts who had been dating since we were 17, and soul mates, and made for each other. But the winter I mastered this sausage soup was followed by the summer we got engaged. Coincidence?
We were talking on a rainy day in February 2011 when he said, “You know what I really want you to make? Sausage soup. It’s my favorite.” To which I replied, “Sausage soup? I’ve never even heard of sausage soup.” How could his favorite soup be something I had never eaten?!
I had him describe this childhood favorite soup of his. “There’s sausage, and zucchini, maybe carrots? It’s in, like, a broth?”
I had my work cut out for me.
After some experimentation I created what I hoped was the perfect sausage soup.
I served it up to him, and watched as he took his first bite.
At first he was quiet, just for a moment.
Then he looked up at me and smiled.
“Nat. This is the BEST sausage soup I have ever had! God I love you.” I felt like I had just won Top Chef.
Then he asked, “Can I have more Parmesan on top?”
The man likes his cheese.
And 4 months later we were engaged.
So make this engagement worthy soup. Your man will love it.
Browning the sausage
How the vegetables should look before you add in the tomatoes, broth and sliced sausage
Adding in the sausages to broth and vegetables
This has now become my favorite soup too.
Italian Sausage and Vegetable Soup
- 16 ounce package of sweet Italian sausage
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 large carrots cut in to 1/4" thick half moons, about 1.5 cups
- 2 medium zucchini cut in to 1/4" thick half moons, about 1.5 cups
- 4 celery stalks cut 1/4" thick, about 1.5 cups
- 1 medium yellow onion chopped medium, about 1.5 cups
- 2 garlic cloves chopped fine
- 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
- 32 ounces chicken stock
- 1 tablespoon thyme
- 1/4 cup orzo pasta, optional
- 2 cups fresh spinach
- Salt and pepper
- Freshly grated Parmesan for topping, optional
- 1. In a heavy bottom pot, heat 1 tbs olive oil over medium high heat. Add in the whole sausages and brown the outside, about 5 minutes, turning every minute. Put the sausages aside on a plate.
- 2. In the oil, add in the carrots, zucchini, celery and onions. Add in 2 tsp salt and 2 tsp pepper. Cook over medium heat, scraping up any brown bits from the sausage on the bottom of the pot, and stirring occasionally. Cook until the onions turn translucent, about 10 minutes.
- 3. While the vegetables are cooking, slice the sausages a little more than 1/4" thick. It is ok if they are still pink in the middle, they will continue cooking in the soup.
- 4. When the onions have turned translucent, and the vegetables have cooked through, add in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Then add in the can of diced tomatoes, chicken stock, sliced sausages, and 1 tablespoon of thyme. Cook over low heat, uncovered, for 40 minutes.
- 5. After the soup has cooked for 40 minutes, add in 1/4 cup of orzo. Stir and continue cooking for 15 minutes, uncovered.
- 6. After the orzo has cooked for 15 minutes, add in 2 big handfuls of fresh spinach, stir to combine.
- 7. Taste to see if it needs more salt and pepper.
- 8. Take the soup off heat and allow to sit for 5 minutes. After the soup has rested for 5 minutes serve it topped with fresh Parmesan and warm bread.
- 9. Will keep in an air tight container for 1 week in the fridge. Can be frozen for up to 6 months.
72 Comments on “Italian Sausage and Vegetable Soup”
I have come back to this recipe so many times and somehow hadn’t saved it anywhere. I searched for half an hour and finally found!! I remember it as the engagement sausage soup! I’m so excited to make it for a friend tonight. 😊 thanks for mastering it
Thank you, Toby! I’m so honored!
This is the best veggie soup I’ve ever had. It was such a hit that after serving 4 people I have almost no leftovers! I added some fresh green beans, used two small yellow onions, 2-3T tomato paste, and subbed kale for the spinach to use what I had on hand. I also used pearl couscous instead of orzo. The ratio of pasta to meat to veggie is divine. I’ve already forwarded the recipe!
Thank you, Amy! I love the substitutions you made and so happy it turned out so well! Thank you for sharing the recipe- I’m honored!
Thanks for this recipe and good job putting this together, it’s a winner. Just one thought, I get frustrated with soups that end up too thick. I doubled the amount of chicken stock and even doing that there’s not a whole lot of broth. So my suggestion is put in 64 oz of chicken broth. The other ingredients hungrily suck it up and you are left with a very thick soup that still has some brothiness that makes it feel like a soup with ingredients rather than veggies + sausage but little to sip on.
Hi Benjamin! I’m so glad you liked this recipe and I appreciate the tips for a brothier soup!
My kids inhaled this soup! The flavor is so wonderful!! Definitely adding to my soup rotation!
Yay! I love this! It’s the best when the kids approve! Thank you!
Wonderful! I used gluten free pasta and frozen mixed veggies but it was still really good! This will be a go to recipe for my family!
So glad to hear this, Julie! So happy you enjoyed it!
This is our favorite soup recipe, and it’s so easy and forgiving! I often make it with a can of low sodium canellini beans instead of pasta and have used kale instead of spinach. Today I think I’ll throw in some fresh peas that came in my produce box because, why not?! Thank you for this amazing recipe.
I love all of your substitutions and additions to the soup Susan.They all sound delicious!
Delicious adding to our family rotation for dinner.
So glad it turned out delicious and you will be adding it to your regular recipe rotation Amy.
Love this soup! It’s going to be a regular for us in our house. We swap the orzo for white beans. I think navy beans work best.
I am so happy you like my soup Tiffany! I love that you swap the orzo for white navy beans. That is a fantastic tip!
I made this last night as my hubs and I are going on a Soup binge to cut down on carbs and amp up veggies but still have delicious meals. The flavours were BEAUTIFUL and the soup was nice to look at too! My only stumble (and this is probably me since I’m not the greatest cook!) was that it tasted a little fatty/greasy to me… I think next time I would boil my sausages or something first to get some of the grease out and then quickly brown them? Any other suggestions?? I ended up adding some red wine vinegar to my soup to try to brighten it up, and a little Madera… and it was fantastic, but still a little oily. We loved it though and can’t wait to eat it again tonight! The recipe made enough for 2 bowls last night, 2 in the fridge, and 1 in a freezer bag for a solo dinner! Thanks! I’ll be back to try more of your recipes!
Hi Kati – A tip you could try to reduce the oil is to brown the sausages, then slice them. After they are sliced put them on a paper towel and blot the top of the sliced sausages to absorb the maximum amount of fat. You could also reduce the oil you saute the veggies in to about 1 teaspoon. Spray your pan with a nonstick spray to prevent the veggies from sticking. I don’t find this oily at all, but please adjust it to your personal taste. So happy you liked it!
Made this for lunch today, substituted loose hot sausage and added Italian green beans. Doubled tomatoes and added a red bell pepper. Awsome
Oh that sounds delicious! I’m so happy you liked it Loren!
Hello! What form of thyme do you use (for measurement purposes)? Thanks!
I use dried! But fresh would work just as well.
I made this using Italian chicken sausage and omitted the salt. It was delicious!
So glad you liked it! Italian chicken sausage would be great too! Thanks for taking the time to let me know!
This is just what we need here in Wisconsin now. It is very cold here in the ’30s and rainy. Love all the veggies in it!
I’m so glad you enjoyed it Laura! This is perfect for a cold day! Thanks for making my recipe and letting me know you enjoyed it! Means the world.
I needed a quick soup to make as I hadn’t shopped and was called into work and had to make due with canned veggies, beans etc. so with some heavy tweaking on the veggies portion with this as the base the only change in the recipe itself was adding an extra 2 cups of water (I use my own bullion base) to add extra broth to it otherwise it is a great recipe. Will make it again when I have all the ingredients haha
I’m so glad you liked it Amanda! And glad to hear it works with canned vegetables. That’s so nice in a pinch. Thanks for making my recipe and letting me know you liked it! Means the world!
Its the start of my soup making season and your recipe was the first one of the year! I’m sensitive to salt & haven’t used it in years. My Dad gave me some venison sausage that he claimed was too salty, saw this recipe & knew it would be perfect due to the orzo! Anyhoo, 8 yrs of soup making & my soup critic always complains. This was the first soup he just “yummmm” about w no critique!
This was so nice to read! Thank you! I’m so happy this soup was loved by all. It’s my husbands *favorite*. Thank you for taking the time to let me know you liked my recipe! You made my DAY! Means a lot.
Do you drain the canned tomatoes or use the liquid? Making this soup tonight and it looks delish! Thank you
Use the liquid! Dump the whole can in there, tomatoes and the tomato juice. Hope you love it when you make it!