Italian Style Vegetable Soup with Chicken and Sausage

This makes a HUGE pot! It was enough for family, neighbors, and a few quarts for the freezer!
(One batch I made less spicy for the kids, and used Tortellini)
Prep time: ½ hour - 45 mins (for chopping etc..)
Cook time: 2 hours


10 Carrots, peeled and sliced on the diagonal
6 stalks of Celery, sliced
3 Medium Onions, in a large dice
3 TBS chopped Garlic
1 28oz can diced Tomatoes, drained
4-5 Large Chicken Breasts
6 Links Spicy Italian Sausage
1 box Elbow pasta
1 bag of frozen Spinach
4-5 TBS Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 Large Cans Chicken Broth
( I used 1 and the stock from boiling the chicken breasts, drained of all fat)
Herbs and Spices: (use more or less or any others you wish)
Red Pepper Flakes, 3 Bay leaves, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Parsley, Poultry Seasoning, Salt and Pepper


A few hours ahead of time, fill a large pasta pot with water, salt, pepper, Poultry seasoning and red pepper flakes. Boil chicken breasts and Sausage links until cooked through. Stirring every few minutes. When done, turn off and put aside to cool. After cooled, drain off the fat that floated to the top of the pot, take out Sausage and breasts, and strain all the stock into a bowl.
In a large Stock Pot, add 3-4 TBS of the EVOO, sauté the Garlic, Onions, Carrots, and Celery until soft and slightly browned. Add in the chicken broth and stock , the Tomatoes, Bay leaves, the rest of the herbs and spices and stir. Let Simmer for at least an hour on Low/Medium. Meanwhile, rinse the frozen Spinach under cold water to thaw, drain and squeeze out all the excess water. Cut up all the Chicken and Sausage into small pieces, add to the pot with the broth and vegetables. Simmer another ½ hour to hour, then lastly add the elbows (or pasta of choice) until cooked through. Drizzle some more EVOO over the top of the pot, add the Parsley, mix well, and it’s ready to go! Serve topped with freshly grated Parmesan Cheese.