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March 22, 2010

Recipe for vegetable soup with fennel, white beans and Italian turkey sausage

Vegetable soup with fennel and Italian turkey sausage

My grandmother's chicken-vegetable soup featured chunks of chicken, carrots and celery, and the telltale bubbles on top that characterize homemade stock. This updated version looks the same, but I've added a fennel bulb and fennel seed, white beans, and for a bit of kick, chunks of hot Italian turkey sausage in place of the chicken. The combination of fennel and sausage results in delicious sweetness with just the right amount of sinus-clearing sniffles.

Vegetable soup with fennel, white beans and Italian turkey sausage

Serves 6.


1 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 fennel bulb, white part only, cored and diced
2 carrots, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1/2 tsp dried thyme leaf (or 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves)
1/2 tsp fennel seed
6 cups homemade chicken stock or low-sodium store-bought (I like Swanson 99%)
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp fresh black pepper
3 links (approx. 3/4 lb) hot Italian turkey sausage (or mild, if you prefer), uncooked
1 15-oz can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1-1/2 tsp roughly-chopped flat-leaf parsley


In a 4-quart Dutch oven or stockpot, heat the butter and oil over low-medium heat. Add the onion, fennel, carrots and celery, and sauté, stirring frequently, until the onions and fennel are translucent but not yet starting to brown, 3-4 minutes. Add the thyme and fennel seed, and stir. Then pour in the chicken stock, salt (if using store-bought stock, you probably will not need to add salt) and pepper. Raise heat to high and bring the soup to a boil; then reduce heat to simmer.

While the soup simmers, cook the sausage. Heat a small nonstick frying pan over medium heat. Squeeze the sausage out of the casing into the pan; discard the casing. Break up the sausage with a wooden spoon while it cooks. When the sausage is broken into small pieces and lightly browned all over, pour it into the soup, along with the beans and parsley.

Simmer the soup for 10 minutes after you add the sausage and beans. Taste, and adjust with salt and pepper as needed. Serve hot.

Print recipe only.


Posted by: Meeta | March 22, 2010 at 03:16 AM

i love fennel and of course using homemade chicken stock is simply awesome. i've just gone through the last of mine (i freeze) so it's time to get more going.

Posted by: Kalynskitchen | March 22, 2010 at 10:41 AM

Oh yes, this is my kind of soup. I think turkey Italian sausage is one of my favorite ingredients ever.

Posted by: CJ McD | March 22, 2010 at 07:54 PM

Isn't soup wonderful?
I made a soup similar to this with regular Italian sausage and escarole instead of turkey sausage. Now I must try this.

One of the things I love most about soup, other than beings, so comforting, nourishing and delicious is that you can whip up a delicious concoction in less than 30 minutes. Add a salad, glass of wine and some crostini and you can wow friendsf (and yourself) with a wonderful meal.

Posted by: Lori Flower | April 25, 2010 at 02:58 PM

Just when I thought I had identified my favorite soup, you go and post this. I had it today for lunch... deeeelish! Thanks!

Posted by: vegetables soup | December 17, 2010 at 06:32 AM

Love your recipe and must try this at home, thanks for sharing with us.

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  • I'm Lydia Walshin, a longtime food writer who lives and cooks in a real log house. If I could, I'd eat Chinese noodles, grapes, ice cream and soup every day.
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