What's For Dinner: Italian Sausage Soup

Where does my recipe inspiration come from? Sometimes it's as simple as a glance at the recipe on the saltine cracker box. The hearty Italian sausage soup described on the side of the box of my Nabisco Premium Saltine Crackers sounded rather intriguing, so I decided to give it a go. Since I just made a delicious minestrone soup recently, I decided to meld together some of the aspects I liked about that recipe with the one on the cracker box. The original recipe calls for the addition of pasta, but since D is a little carbaphobic of late, I left it out. Because I added in a number of additional veggies, I don't think the pasta was missed at all.

Italian Sausage Soup (printer-friendly version)
makes 8-10 servings

6 ounces organic chicken Italian sausage, sliced
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon round black pepper
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
2 celery stalks, sliced
1 cup chopped mushrooms
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can (14.5 oz) organic stewed tomatoes, undrained
4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1 can low-sodium garbanzo beans, rinsed
1 cup frozen organic corn kernels
1 cup frozen organic green beans
1 teaspoon fried oregano
Parmesan [for garnish]

1. Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large soup pot. Add the celery, carrots, onion, mushrooms, salt, and pepper. Saute until the vegetables are softened, 5-7 minutes. Add in the minced garlic and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
2. In a large skillet, cook the sausage until heated through. Set aside.
3. Stir in the stewed tomatoes (with juices), vegetable broth, garbanzo beans, corn, green beans, and oregano. Add in the cooked sausage. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 25-30 minutes, or until all the vegetables are tender.
4. Ladle into bowls and garnish each serving with freshly grated Parmesan. Serve immediately.