This soup is hearty enough for dinner and is sure to be enjoyed by the whole family. Simply eliminate the meatballs to make it meat free, and use veg stock in place of chicken.
Italian White Bean Soup with Meatballs
2/3 pound Italian sweet sausage meat
1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
3 carrots, peeled and diced
2 stalks celery, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
48 ounces chicken broth or stock
1/2 t saffron threads
1 bundle fresh rosemary and fresh thyme stems, tied
30 ounces canned white beans or cannellini beans, drained
1/2 c freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 c heavy cream
1 bag spinach
1 t fresh minced rosemary
Salt & pepper, to taste
1 t lemon juice or vinegar (optional)
Scoop sausage meat with a small 1” scoop and roll into balls.
Heat olive oil in large pot. Brown meatballs in batches until browned all over, remove to a plate.
Add onions, carrots, celery & garlic to the pot and add more olive oil if needed. Saute for 10 min until vegetables just start to soften.
Add broth, saffron & herbs to pot, along with beans & meatballs. Stir & bring up to a boil. Turn down heat & simmer for 15 min, until vegetables are tender.Stir in cream, parmesan, rosemary & spinach. Bring back to simmer and taste to adjust salt & pepper. Add lemon juice or apple cider vinegar and serve.