Italian Sausage Soup

Winter is upon us, and at our house that means comfort food — yummy soups and hearty vegetables that warm us from the inside out. But tasty, comforting soups don’t have to be loaded with calories and fat. Spices and carefully chosen carbs make this lighter Italian Sausage Soup a winner in my book. It’s a hit with the family, too, even if they don’t know it’s good for them! (wink, wink)

I cook this in my electric instant pressure cooker. With the exception of the couscous, this is an easy one-pot meal.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb turkey sausage (in a roll) — can use chicken or pork sausage. If using hot sausage, omit red pepper flakes.
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 cup cooked pearl couscous*
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 1 large carrot, cut in 1/4-in rounds
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 box beef broth, low sodium
  • 1 box vegetable broth, low sodium
  • 1/2 tsp fresh cracked pepper
  • 2 cups baby spinach, chopped (remove big stems)
  • shaved Manchego or Parmesan cheese (optional)

* Cook 1 cup couscous in 1/2 cups of salted water, covered, for 10 minutes. Add cooked couscous or another small pasta, like orzo, because uncooked pasta will absorb too much broth.

What You’ll Need

  • Electric instant pressure cooker or large soup pot for cooking on stove
  • Measuring cups/spoons
  • Knife and cutting board
  • Can opener
  • Cheese grater
  • Spoon for stirring/serving

Directions

-Spray bottom of Instant Pot (electric pressure cooker) with cooking spray.

-Add sausage and saute until brown. Sausage will start to stick to bottom so scrape often. Those brown bits will be delicious in your soup. Add the minced garlic and onion toward the end of the cooking time, and cook until the garlic is fragrant, about 3 minutes.

-While sausage is cooking, cook the couscous on the stove in a small pot. Set aside when done.

-To the Instant Pot or soup pot, add the rest of the ingredients EXCEPT couscous, spinach, and cheese.

-For the Instant Pot: cook on high pressure for 5 minutes, then quick-release the steam.

-For the stovetop version: cook on medium heat until vegetables are soft.

-Now add the spinach and stir for a few minutes until spinach is wilted.

-Shave your choice of cheese on each individual bowl of soup.

This soup goes well with Mama’s Moist Cornbread.

I hope you enjoyed my lighter version of Italian sausage soup. If you made this, eave a comment below!

And if you enjoyed reading about this recipe, check out Skinny Sausage and Pasta Bolognese and Instant Pot Beef Stew.

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