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This flavorful, rustic Italian sausage soup is an easy and delicious combination of spicy pork sausage, hearty vegetables, comforting pasta, fresh herbs, and a savory broth.
Tuscan sausage soup is packed with fresh vegetables and herbs. Simmered in a homemade brown chicken stock, the sausage adds a touch of heat, and the wine and Parmesan rind create a mellow, complex umami flavor. Raw kale is stirred into the hot bowl of soup right before serving to add a bit of texture and beautiful color to this rich, savory dish.
This filling soup makes an easy weeknight dinner alongside easy dinner rolls or potato dinner rolls. I love to work it into my weekly rotation with my lemon chicken recipe, pinot noir chili, and lamb stew all Winter long!
Why you will love this sausage soup recipe:
- A secret ingredient for the most flavorful Italian sausage soup. All the ingredients work together to create layers of complex flavor. Starting with a base of vegetables, garlic, onion and herbs. Then adding white wine and spicy sausage. The parmesan rind is the real secret to the best sausage soup!
- It is easy and simple to prepare. There are no special skills required to make this delicious soup. A little chopping followed by hands-off simmering!
- A hearty, filling soup. Loaded with flavorful Italian sausage and tons of vegetables, this hearty soup will keep you full. Pair it with a piece of crusty bread or rosemary sourdough rolls for the ultimate weeknight meal.
Professional tips for making sausage and veggies soup:
- Use the kale leaves only. When adding kale to the end of the cooking process, you’ll want to remove the ribs of the kale first. If you include them, they will be quite tough and crunchy. I like to save them in the freezer to use in other recipes or in smoothies.
- Taste as you go. Be sure to taste for seasoning as you cook. Check to see if your soup needs any additional salt throughout the cooking process for the most balanced dish. Sausage and store-bought stocks can be salty, so beware!
- Remove excess grease. If you have time, you can refrigerate this soup overnight and then remove the fat solids from the top of the cold soup with a spoon. This is easier and more effective than degreasing while it is hot. If you do not have time to refrigerate, simply use a 2 oz ladle or large spoon to skim the fat off the surface.
- Onions: I recommend using yellow onions for this recipe. You could also use a sweet onion if you don’t have yellow onions available.
- Garlic: Fresh garlic adds so much savory flavor to this soup. To make this an easy weeknight meal, you can use jarred chopped garlic instead.
- Olive Oil: Olive oil is to sauté the aromatics before adding the broth and other ingredients. You could use avocado oil here as well.
- Carrots: Try to choose carrots that are relatively straight and fairly thick. This will make them easier to dice.
- Parsnip: Parsnip adds body and sweetness to the soup. They have a nutty, earthy flavor that’s more similar to sweet potatoes than it is to other root vegetables.
- Thyme: Fresh thyme adds a wonderful aroma and light, floral taste to the soup. If you aren’t able to find fresh thyme, you can use a teaspoon of dried thyme instead.
- Rosemary: Fresh rosemary adds an earthy, piney aroma and taste. If using dried herbs instead, be sure your dried rosemary has been purchased recently. If it has not, consider buying a new jar for the best flavor.
- Oregano: Oregano is an essential herb in Italian cooking. It provides savory, peppery, pleasantly bitter notes to the soup.
- Salt: Kosher salt is what I recommend for my savory cooking. It is less salty by volume than table salt or sea salt, making it easier to taste as you go.
- Pepper: Freshly ground black pepper adds a little kick to the soup. I highly recommend grinding your own black peppercorns for the best flavor.
- Italian Sausage: This soup calls for spicy Italian sausage, sometimes called hot Italian sausage. If you are sensitive to heat, feel free to use a mild or sweet Italian sausage instead.
- White Wine: I like to use a dry white wine for this recipe. My best advice is to choose a wine that you would be happy drinking, as it will impart a flavor you enjoy into the dish. Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc are both great choices.
- Chicken Stock: If you can, use homemade chicken stock for this soup. If not, you can purchase chicken stock or chicken broth from your local store. I prefer to use a lower-sodium brand like Pacific Foods Organic Chicken Stock.
- Parmesan Cheese Rind: I save the rind of my Parmesan cheese when I am finished with the block. You can put it in the freezer for later use. You can also ask for a rind at your local cheese counter to see if they have one for purchase.
- Kale: My preference is to use Tuscan kale, also called Lacinato kale, in this dish. These are the flat, rounded kale leaves as opposed to the curly leaves with frilled edges. Either taste delightful.
- Pasta: I like to use cooked gemelli pasta for this soup. However, you can use any other kind of short pasta shape you like, including penne, fusilli, or orzo.
See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.
Variations & Substitutions
- Different Veggies: I have made different variations of this soup using different vegetables. You can swap the parsnip for sweet potatoes, use collard greens instead of kale, or add some celery.
- Creamy Soup: Stir in heavy cream near the end of the cooking process to make creamy sausage soup.
- Red Pepper Flakes: If you’re looking for more heat, try adding a generous pinch of red pepper flakes to your soup.
- Italian Seasoning: If you can’t find fresh thyme, rosemary, and oregano, you can use a dried Italian seasoning blend containing these three herbs.
How to Make This Italian Sausage Soup Recipe
Use these instructions to make the perfect soup every time! Further details and measurements can be found in the recipe card below!
Step 1: In a large Dutch oven or soup pot, heat olive oil over medium heat until it is hot but not smoking. Add onions and cook until they release their juices and begin to turn translucent.
Step 2: Add garlic and sauté, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes.
Step 3: Add the carrots, parsnips, fresh herbs, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Sweat the vegetables until the onions are almost translucent.
Step 4: Push all the vegetables to the edges of the pot and add the sausage to the middle. Brown the sausage but try to keep it in larger pieces.
You can also brown the sausage in another pan, which will help you drain the fat before adding it to the soup.
Step 5: Pour in the wine and allow to boil for a few minutes.
Step 6: Add the chicken stock, cheese rind, parsnip, and potatoes. Stir to mix. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and cover. Simmer until the vegetables are very soft.
Step 7: Dish into bowls and add a small handful of kale and noodles, stirring to mix. Serve hot with crusty bread.
Chef Lindsey’s Recipe Tip
For the best texture, be sure to cook your pasta separately from the rest of the soup, especially if you plan to have leftovers. When cooked in the soup, the pasta will continue to sit in the hot broth and will become mushy. If you cook it separately, the pasta will have the perfect texture.
Frequently Asked Questions
This soup is absolutely delicious the next day. Store leftover soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. You can freeze this soup as well. Cool the soup completely, transfer it to a freezer-safe container, and freeze for up to 2 months.
To reheat this soup, pour the soup into a stockpot or saucepan. Place on the stove over medium-high heat and bring up to a boil and down to a simmer before serving. You can also reheat soup in the microwave at 30-second intervals until it is heated through.
The difference between regular sausage and Italian sausage is the seasoning blend used. The main seasoning that gives Italian sausage its flavor is fennel seed, which tastes and smells like licorice.
If you tried this recipe and loved it please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how it goes in the comments below. I love hearing from you; your comments make my day!
Italian Sausage Soup
- 2 yellow onions coarsely chopped
- 6 cloves garlic minced
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 carrots medium dice
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary chopped
- 1 teaspoon fresh oregano chopped
- kosher salt to taste
- fresh ground black pepper to taste
- 1 pound hot Italian pork sausage
- 1 cup dry white wine Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc are both great choices.
- 1.75 quarts brown chicken stock
- 4 inch rind from a piece of Parmesan cheese about 1 inch thick
- 1 parsnip pealed and cut in a medium dice
- 4 small Yukon potatoes cleaned and cut in a medium dice
- 8 stalks of Tuscan kale ribs removed and cut in ¼ inch ribbons
- 2 cups cooked gemelli pasta or any other kind will do, but isn’t gemelli fun?!
- In a large Dutch oven or soup pot, heat olive oil over medium heat until it is hot but not smoking. Add onions and cook until they release their juices and begin to turn translucent.
- Add garlic and sauté, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes.
- Add the carrots, parsnips, fresh herbs, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Sweat the vegetables until the onions are almost translucent.
- Push all the vegetables to the edges of the pot and add the sausage to the middle. Brown the sausage but try to keep it in larger pieces.
- Pour in the wine and allow to boil for a few minutes.
- Add the chicken stock, cheese rind, parsnip, and potatoes. Stir to mix. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and cover. Simmer until the vegetables are very soft.
- Dish into bowls and add a small handful of kale and noodles, stirring to mix. Serve hot with crusty bread.
Before You Go
I hope you enjoyed this professional chef tested recipe. Check out our other delicious, chef-developed soup recipes!