Recipe courtesy of Brent Ridge and Josh Kilmer-Purcell

Sausage and Bean Soup

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.
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 50 min
  • Active: 20 min
  • Yield: 6 servings
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2 tablespoons olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

1/2 pound Italian sausage, casing removed

4 cups chicken stock

3 garlic cloves, sliced

2 bay leaves

1/2 cup diced carrots

1/2 cup diced celery

1 large potato, peeled and diced into 1/2-inch cubes

1 small zucchini, diced

Two 15.5-ounce cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

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


  1. 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 stock, scraping up the browned bits on the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon. Add garlic, bay leaves, carrots, celery, potato, zucchini, 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.
  2. 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.
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