Summer Vegetable and Italian Sausage Soup
with orzo / pesto / white beans
This summery soup, which we last featured in 2020, relies on building layers of flavors. It starts with browned Italian sausage and is loaded with vegetables. A spoonful of pesto gives the soup a fresh, bright finish.
- 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 - 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 - (Double if making Tuesday's meal.) 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!