Hearty Italian Sausage & Spinach Soup

To quote my husband, “I don’t want this to go to your head or anything, but this is so good, I don’t even want to eat it with crackers.” Hahaha! And even my 19-month-old liked it. He picked out the sausage (and ate it), dipped crackers in the soup, then sucked the soup off the cracker.

Ingredients:
4 Italian sausages or 1 pkg ground Italian sausage
2 cans (14 oz each) reduced-sodium chicken broth
3/4 C chopped onion (or dehydrated onion)
2 garlic cloves
olive oil (I used EVOO)
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 10-oz. package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well drained (Or you can use frozen bagged chopped spinach like me–then you don’t have to drain it. The bags are usually 16 oz. instead of 10 but I still use the whole thing and add water to the soup if needed.)
1 1/2 t dried oregano leaves
1/2 t salt (varies according to the amount of sodium in your broth)
1/4 t ground black pepper
1/4 t dried basil
1. Gather all your ingredients so that the spinach can begin to thaw while you form the Italian sausage into balls. Remove sausage from casing and form into balls about the size of a nickel (or whatever size you’d prefer). If you’re using ground Italian sausage, begin browning it over medium heat.
2. Start your chicken broth if you’re using bullion. (I like to add 28 oz. of water and then 2 packets of Herb-Ox chicken bullion powder. I think these packets have great flavor and they’re sodium free.)
3. Chop the onion and garlic.
4. Cook and stir onion and garlic in hot oil in Dutch oven or large stock-pot on med-high heat for 3-5 minutes or until onion is tender. (If using dehydrated onion, wait to add until after broth.)
5. Add broth, tomatoes with their liquid, spinach, oregano, salt, pepper, and basil; bring to a boil.
6. Add sausage.
7. Reduce heat to low; cover.
8. Simmer until sausage is cooked through, about 15 minutes. Makes 4-6 servings.
Source: Adapted from “Hearty Meatball Spinach Soup” recipe found on the back of an old Premium crackers box; that recipe can be found here.

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