Instead of starting with a hambone (which you won't have unless you've just eaten a baked ham) and dried beans (which require significant soaking and simmering time), simply open cans of chicken broth and beans. Minced prosciutto instantly transforms commercial chicken broth into a ham-flavored soup base. Italian sausage reinforces the pork flavor and makes the soup substantial and satisfying. Mashing some of the canned beans thickens the soup and gives it the body of one that's been long simmered. Sauteed onions, carrots and celery add depth of flavor and ensure the soup's homemade feel.

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Ingredients

8
Original recipe yields 8 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Heat oil in a large, deep saute pan or soup kettle over medium-high heat. When pan is hot, add sausages; cook, turning once or twice, until well-browned on all sides, about 5 minutes. (Sausage will not be fully cooked at this point.) Remove from pan. When cool enough to handle, cut into slices 1/4-inch thick.

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  • Add prosciutto, onions, carrots, celery and thyme to the empty skillet; cook, stirring often, until well browned, 8 to 10 minutes. In a small bowl, mash one can of beans with a fork into a chunky puree. Add broth, whole and mashed beans, and sausage; cover and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer, partially covered, to blend flavors, 20 minutes. Let rest 10 minutes; serve.

Picnic tip

Transfer to a 2-quart Thermos-type bottle after the first simmer. Can be cooked ahead and refrigerated up to 3 days.

Tips

Copyright 2004 USA WEEKEND and columnist Pam Anderson. All rights reserved.

Partner Tip

Try using a Reynolds® slow cooker liner in your slow cooker for easier cleanup.

Nutrition Facts

561.4 calories; 26.4 g protein; 40.3 g carbohydrates; 70.9 mg cholesterol; 785.9 mg sodium. Full Nutrition

Reviews (124)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
08/11/2005
A great soup base. I omitted the proscuitto--expensive and not needed for flavor with the sausage. cut the chicken stock in 1/2 and added 1/2 & 1/2 chopped kale and 2 garlic cloves. Received rave reviews from my clients they asked me to put it on my "keeper list" P.s. Canned beans are the only way to go and taste just as good or better in my opinion with the little time we have on our hands at night. Just be sure to rinse well. Read More
(68)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 3 stars
02/01/2010
This wasn't bad..kids didn't love it..I made the mistake of adding some salt so it came out too salty. Otherwise ok flavor Read More
(3)
149 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 103
  • 4 star values: 37
  • 3 star values: 6
  • 2 star values: 3
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
08/11/2005
A great soup base. I omitted the proscuitto--expensive and not needed for flavor with the sausage. cut the chicken stock in 1/2 and added 1/2 & 1/2 chopped kale and 2 garlic cloves. Received rave reviews from my clients they asked me to put it on my "keeper list" P.s. Canned beans are the only way to go and taste just as good or better in my opinion with the little time we have on our hands at night. Just be sure to rinse well. Read More
(68)
Rating: 5 stars
11/29/2005
WOW! Fantastic! This is the white bean soup recipe I've been looking for. I made a few alterations but it turned out to be just as good as the Tuscan White Bean and Pancetta soup at my local gourmet market. I used only 1/2 lb. fresh sausage which I crumbled and browned in the first step I chopped the veggies finely and I used a turkey stock I made after Thanksgiving using lots of fresh rosemary. I highly recommend adding in a fresh sprig or two when you simmer the soup- the flavor is great with the beans. Also I pureed all 3 cans of beans in my processor until they were just chunky- this made the soup very rich and thick. If you want to be really decadent I think you could also stir a 1/2 - 1 cup cream or half and half at the end. Great soup and very easy! Read More
(55)
Rating: 5 stars
01/21/2005
I modified this by taking out the prociutto and using turkey sausage and green beans instead of carrots to make it South-Beach friendly. It was delicious and very easy to make! Read More
(38)
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Rating: 5 stars
01/11/2005
I made this one snowy afternoon. Very easy to make and oh so good! My husband and I ate on this for 3 days and loved every bite! Great with French bread or cornbread. I could eat it without any bread. Read More
(21)
Rating: 5 stars
04/21/2006
Great Soup. Left out the ham and instead of meat sausage i took vegetarian sausage( available in grocery store vegetarian section)and browned it in oil and added this to the soup. Also added 2 bay leaves to the pot. Topped it off in bowl with salt and black pepper. Delish!!! Thanks. Read More
(19)
Rating: 5 stars
10/04/2005
We've made this soup several times since it first appeared last October. Tried it with regular ham and with country ham but the prosciutto is best. Everyone we have introduced this soup to has raved about it. Read More
(17)
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Rating: 5 stars
01/21/2006
The flavor of the soup was great and easy to make. Next time I'll add a second can of mashed beans to thicken the soup. Read More
(14)
Rating: 5 stars
11/28/2005
Had to substitute butterbeans for great Northern but otherwise made it exactly as per recipe using the hot Italian sausage. It was unbelievably good - would never have thought that a soup so quick and simple could have such depth of flavour. Thanks for the recipe with compliments of Mr P! Read More
(12)
Rating: 5 stars
01/04/2005
We make this soup for family and friend functions and we ALWAYS have requests for the recipe!!! Read More
(12)
Rating: 3 stars
02/01/2010
This wasn't bad..kids didn't love it..I made the mistake of adding some salt so it came out too salty. Otherwise ok flavor Read More
(3)