Summer Vegetable and Italian Sausage Soup
with orzo / pesto / white beans
Build layers of flavors in this summery soup that starts with browned Italian sausage and is loaded with vegetables. A spoonful of pesto gives the soup a fresh, bright finish.
Smarts: If the orzo wasn't made ahead earlier in the week, you can cook it right in the soup at the end of cooking.
- Pine nuts - 2 Tbsp (sub walnuts or pecans)
- Garlic - 1 clove, peeled
- Cheese, parmesan (opt) - 1 oz, grated
- Basil, fresh - 1 1/2 oz
- Lemon juice - 2 tsp
- Oil, olive - 3 Tbsp
- Pasta, uncooked orzo - 1/2 cup
- Onions, medium - 1/2, diced
- Carrots - 8 oz, diced
- Squash, yellow summer - 8 oz, diced (sub zucchini)
- Sun-dried tomatoes in oil - 1/2 cup, drained and chopped
- Garlic - 2 cloves, diced
- Beans, cannellini or butter (14 oz / 397 g) - 1 can, drained and rinsed
- Oil, olive - 1 Tbsp
- Italian sausage, loose and raw - 6 oz
- Tomato paste - 3 Tbsp
- Italian seasoning - 1 tsp
- Paprika, smoked - 1/2 tsp
- Stock, any type - 5 cups
- Cheese, parmesan rind (opt) - 1
- Lemon juice - 1/2 tsp
- Basil pesto (ingredients listed separately) - ~1/4 cup
- Cook orzo - (Skip if made ahead for Tuesday.) Cook orzo according to package directions. If making ahead, toss with some oil after cooking to help prevent sticking. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Make pesto - (Skip if made ahead for Monday.) Toast nuts in a dry skillet or frying pan until fragrant and golden, 3 to 4 minutes. Peel garlic cloves (portion for pesto). Place nuts, garlic, parmesan cheese (if using), basil leaves, and lemon juice (portion for pesto) in a food processor. Pulse until all ingredients are well chopped. With food processor running, drizzle in olive oil (portion for pesto) until smooth. Season to taste with some salt and pepper. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Onions / Carrots / Squash / Sun-dried tomatoes / Garlic (portion for soup) - Prep as directed. Combine onions, carrots, and squash in one container. Store sun dried tomatoes and garlic in another container. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Beans - Drain and rinse.
- Heat a Dutch oven with olive oil (portion for soup) over medium-high heat. Add sausage and cook, breaking apart, until browned and cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes.
- Add onions, carrots, and squash with a pinch of salt. Saute until vegetables are beginning to soften ~5 minutes.
- Add garlic (portion for soup), sun-dried tomatoes, tomato paste, Italian seasoning, and paprika and stir until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes.
- Pour stock over vegetables and bring to a simmer. Add beans and parmesan rind (if using). Simmer soup until carrots and squash are tender, 8 to 10 minutes more.
- Remove and discard parmesan rind. Stir lemon juice (portion for soup) into soup. Taste and season with some salt and pepper.
- Divide orzo between serving bowls and ladle soup over top.
- Stir a spoonful of pesto into each bowl of soup at the table. Enjoy!
I didn’t bothe making my own pesto because I already had some in the fridge. Otherwise super easy. Even the toddler ate and loved it!0 Helpful
Super delicious! Would 100% make again. Traded out the sun dried tomatoes with fire roasted tomatoes. Didn’t add any pesto.0 Helpful
Everyone enjoyed it. Didn't bother making my own pesto, just used some in a jar that was already open in the fridge.0 Helpful
Accidentally shredded the carrots and squash instead of dicing – but that made it a little more stew like, I think? Really liked it that way. Also boil the pasta in the soup rather than doing it on its own. Save time and also seem to thicken the broth. Really liked the soup.0 Helpful
This was delish! I made it without sun dried tomatoes but added mushrooms instead and used carrots, zucchini and some sort of green squash. The pesto was just so easy healthy and delicious. I used walnuts.It was so gooooooood Totally recommend it0 Helpful
Made it with vegan sausage and it was great! Tasted like the Olive Garden minestrone0 Helpful