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Tuscan Sausage Soup
Serves 12

Ingredients:
2 lbs. sweet Italian sausage
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 sweet onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
3 quarts chicken broth
2 14.5-ounce cans diced tomatoes, with juice
2 15-ounce cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon dried basil
1-lb (16-oz) whole wheat shell pasta, uncooked
8 ounces spinach leaves
salt and pepper to taste
Grated Parmesan cheese for topping (if desired)

Directions:
1. Remove sausage from casings and brown over med-high heat in the bottom of your largest stockpot. Crumble the sausage as you brown it.
2. Add the carrots, onion and garlic and saute until tender and starting to turn a bit golden, about 7 minutes.
3. Add the chicken broth, tomatoes, beans, pasta and basil. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to a simmer. Cover the pot and continue cooking until pasta becomes a bit tender, about 7 minutes.
4. Stir in the spinach and cook until just wilted. Taste and season with salt and pepper, according to your preference.
5. Serve hot garnished with grated parmesan, if desired.

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