Tuscan Sausage and Bean Soup

We are originally from Colorado. In college we were poor and couldn’t afford to go skiing every weekend, so instead our roommates and friends would  all gather around our little TV and we’d watch football. The Denver Broncos had a great defensive line known as “The Orange Crush.”

Years later we lived in Boston Massachusetts and we could afford to ski every weekend however, by this time we were rabid football fans and would never miss a New England Patriots game. James was born in New England and grew up on football and soccer, need I say more?

When James was seven he asked if I would make this soup for Super Bowl Sunday. My first thought was soup on Super Bowl Sunday was kind of weird.  However, it’s James, running true to form and thinking outside the box. It looked easy enough plus James said he’d help. We had a lot of people coming over to watch the game and, maybe,  the addition of this soup would be a nice supplement to the usual Super Bowl junk food. Good God, this soup was good, everyone gobbled it up. James proclaimed it a Kirkley Family Tradition to always eat Tuscan Sausage and Bean Soup on Super Bowl Sunday.

We’ve made this soup every Super Bowl Sunday for the last 30 years. We hope you make it for this Sunday and enjoy it as much as we do. And, yes, it looks as good in person as the image we posted!


1 pound Italian sausage, skinned and cut into 1-inch slices
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 large yellow onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes
2 14 oz. cans chicken broth
2 zucchini squash, sliced 1/4-inch thick
1 15 oz. can northern white beans, with liquid
6 ounces baby spinach
Parmesan cheese, grated
French baguette slices


1. In large skillet or Dutch Oven, cook sausage until browned on all sides. Remove to colander to drain.

2. In same skillet heat olive oil over medium heat, add onion and brown, add garlic and red pepper flakes and continue to cook for one minute.

3. Return sausage to skillet and add: tomatoes, chicken broth, zucchini, and northern white beans.

4. Cover and simmer over very low heat for approximately 30 minutes to an hour.

5. Just before serving add spinach and stir.

6. Ladle soup into bowls and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese if desired.

7. Serve with toasted baguette slices

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